Aecon takeover deal helps move TSX higher, loonie falls below 78 cents U.S.
TORONTO -- Canada's main stock index gained ground in trading, led by the industrial sector which pushed higher on news of a takeover deal for Aecon Group Inc.
Shares of the construction company (TSX:ARE) advanced $3.21, or 19.43 per cent, to $19.73 at the close of markets after it announced that it signed a deal Thursday to be acquired by CCCC International Holding Ltd. of China.
Aecon CEO John Beck said the $1.5 billion acquisition deal will help it bid for larger and more complex projects, subject to shareholder and government approvals.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 36.86 points to 15,891.63.
In other corporate news, shares of Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) were up 95 cents, or 2.25 per cent, to $43.10 after the oilsands developer reported a third-quarter profit of $867 million compared with earnings of $346 million for the same quarter last year.
Meanwhile, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT) was down 29 cents, or 1.15 per cent, to $24.85 after it said it earned a third-quarter profit of $53 million, down from $81 million a year ago, as it works to close its merger with Agrium Inc.
Other major companies reporting earnings included Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TECK.B), Restaurant Brands International Inc. (TSX:QSR) and Husky Energy Inc. (TSX:HSE), which all saw their stock prices fall.
"It's all earnings, earnings, earnings ... on the TSX," said Kathryn Del Greco, an investment adviser with TD Wealth.
"The Aecon deal is very exciting," Del Greco said. "And with Suncor, it's nice to see some positive numbers coming out the oil patch."
South of the border, it was a mixed day on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 71.40 points to 23,400.86. The S&P 500 index inched ahead 3.25 points to 2,560.40 and the Nasdaq composite index slipped 7.12 points to 6,556.77.
In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 77.94 cents US, down 0.36 of a cent.
It's the first time since July 11 that the loonie has been below 78 cents US, and more evidence that the loonie has likely had its peak following two straight hikes by the Bank of Canada since July. On Wednesday the central bank announced it was keeping its key interest rate target on hold for now.
On the commodities front, the December crude contract was up 46 cents to US$52.64 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was down three cents to US$3.05 per mmBTU.
The December gold contract dropped $9.40 to US$1,269.60 an ounce and the December copper contract was down a penny to US$3.18 a pound.