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Stocks Keep Gains

Baystreet.ca
Stocks in Canada’s largest market reversed course to trade higher on Wednesday morning as escalating ...

Stocks in Canada’s largest market reversed course to trade higher on Wednesday morning as escalating tensions between the United States and Russia over Syria pushed up gold and crude oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index stayed positive 31.95 to reach noon at 15,294.09

The Canadian dollar regained 0.17 cents at 79.54 cents U.S.

Suncor Energy grew 93 cents, or 2%, to $47.26, while Canadian Natural Resources picked up 83 cents, or 2%, to $43.21.

Shares of Barrick Gold climbed 43 cents, or 2.7%, to $16.52, and Goldcorp picked up 57 cents, or 3.2%, to $18.20.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Pretium Resources, which rose $1.66, or 19%, while the largest decliner was Prometic Life Sciences, down six cents, or 7.1%, to 79 cents.

Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Largo Resources and B2Gold Corp.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 2.74 points to 778.88

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower midday, with telecoms and financials each shedding 0.6%, and information technology fading 0.4%.

The five gainers were led by gold, up 3.4%, energy, 2.4% to the good, and materials, better by 1.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Wednesday after President Donald Trump taunted Russia on Twitter to "get ready" for a possible missile strike on Syria.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off their lows of the morning, climbing to within 46.34 points of breakeven to 24,361.66, with UnitedHealth and DowDuPont as the biggest decliners in the index.

The S&P 500 regained 2.75 points to 2,659.62, with telecommunications as the worst-performing sector.

The NASDAQ Composite index gained 28.47 points to 7,122.77, as Netflix rose nearly 4%.

Bank stocks helped lead the decline, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley both falling more than 1%. J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo also traded lower.

Trump said in a tweet: "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

Talk of a potential trade war continues to rattle sentiment, while Facebook kept Wall Street preoccupied Tuesday as the tech giant's CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees.

He said that Facebook didn't notify the Federal Trade Commission about the data leak surrounding Cambridge Analytica, as they considered it a closed case years ago. Zuckerberg is due to speak to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday morning.

In data, the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's March meeting are due to be released at 2 p.m. ET. No speeches by the Federal Reserve are scheduled for Wednesday.

BlackRock and Delta Air Lines kick off the first-quarter earnings season on Thursday, with J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo scheduled to report Friday.

Shares of Netflix popped after analysts at Goldman Sachs hiked their price target on the stock to $360 from $315.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained, dropping yields to 2.78% from Tuesday’s 2.80%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.56 a barrel to $67.07 U.S.

Gold prices hiked $21.20 to $1,367.20 U.S. an ounce.