TSX to head higher on positive eurozone news; BlackBerry higher amid Z10 debut | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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TSX to head higher on positive eurozone news; BlackBerry higher amid Z10 debut

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market was set for a solid open Tuesday amid data that indicated the eurozone economy is improving and a positive reception to BlackBerry's new Z10 smartphone.

BlackBerry (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY) shares were up three per cent to US$15.44 in pre-market trading in New York as the new touchscreen device went on sale in Canada. It went on sale in the U.K. last week but won't be available in the U.S. until mid-March.

Chief executive Thorsten Heins says that he’s disappointed by the delay but respects the rigorous testing done by U.S. phone carriers.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.12 of a cent to 100.26 cents US.

U.S. futures were also higher after Markit, a financial information group, said its purchasing managers' index for the eurozone economy rose to a ten-month high of 48.6 in January from 47.2 in December.

Though the index remains below the 50 mark that would indicate expansion, the survey echoes other findings that the eurozone economy may be over the worst.

The Dow Jones industrial futures shot up 68 points to 13,913, the Nasdaq futures climbed 12.75 points to 2,724.25 and the S&P 500 futures rose 7.25 points to 1,500.75.

However, the eurozone economy continues to face a number of headwinds as many of its members have deep debt problems.

Italy’s general election at the end of this month looks like it may yield a split parliament, which would make it more difficult to push through much-needed economic reforms. Meanwhile, the Spanish government is embroiled in a corruption scandal over alleged secret cash payments that has raised questions over the future of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Worries about the eurozone helped send North American markets lower on Monday, as eurozone concerns prompted some investors to take profits from strong gains racked up during January.

In earnings news, telecom provider Bell Aliant Inc. (TSX:BA) says it had $70 million of net income or 31 cents a share in the fourth quarter, a $10-million decline from the same period of 2011 and well short of analyst estimates. Adjusted earnings came in at 37 cents, four cents less than expectations.

The regional telecom company’s operating revenue was also down, slipping 0.8 per cent to $695 million from $701 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

In other corporate developments, shares of Dell climbed nine cents to US$13.36 in premarket trading on reports the personal computer maker is nearing a deal to go private worth between $23 billion and $24 billion. The transaction is said to involve a group including Microsoft Corp., private equity firm Silver Lake and CEO and company founder Michael Dell.

Oil and gas giant BP’s profit fell nearly 80 per cent in the fourth quarter in results released Tuesday, dragged down by payouts related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Net profit fell to $1.62 billion. BP took a loss of $3.85 billion for its settlement of all federal criminal charges with the U.S. government. Nevertheless, the results surpassed analysts’ predictions, and BP said that its downstream activities — refining and sale of petroleum products — earned a record amount for the year.

Toyota’s third quarter profit jumped 23 per cent to 99.91 billion yen (US$1.09 billion), compared to the same period the previous year. Quarterly sales edged up nine per cent to 5.3 trillion yen ($58 billion). The world’s top automaker now expects fiscal year profit of 860 billion yen ($9.3 billion). It had initially expected a 780 billion yen ($8.5 billion) profit.

Commodity prices were mixed with the March crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 63 cents to US$96.80 a barrel.

April bullion dipped 20 cents to US$1,676.20 an ounce while March copper was unchanged at US$3.77 a pound.

European bourses advanced following steep losses Monday with London's FTSE up 0.58 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX edged up 0.22 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.96 per cent.

Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225, dropped 1.9 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng plunged 2.3 per cent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 per cent to 4,882.70. The only gainer among major Asian markets was China’s Shanghai Composite Index, which added 0.2 per cent.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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