Closing Bell Strong BlackBerry showing helps push TSX higher amid weak Chinese

TORONTO — Optimism that BlackBerry’s new Z10 smartphone will make a big splash in the U.S. helped push the Toronto stock market slightly higher Monday.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,858.49 +22.88 0.18%S&P 500 — 1,556.22 +5.04 0.32%Dow — 14,447.29 +50.22 0.35%Nasdaq — 3,252.87 +8.50 0.26%The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 22.87 points to 12,858.49 and the TSX Venture Exchange slipped 1.58 points to 1,116.27.BlackBerry (TSX:BB) shares ran up $1.86 or 13.85% to $15.29 amid news that the company’s new Z10 smartphone will go on sale in the U.S. on March 22 through AT&T. The Z10 has already launched in Canada and the U.K. to date. But a success in the U.S. smartphone market is considered key to the new BlackBerrys.The Canadian dollar edged up 0.26 of a cent to 97.43 cents US.In New York, the Dow Jones racked up yet another record high close, as it did in a string of higher closes last week. The Dow has now recouped all the losses resulting from the 2008 financial crisis and the recession that followed.The blue chip barometer gained 50.22 points to 14,447.29, the Nasdaq composite index edged 8.51 points higher to 3,252.87 and the S&P 500 index was up 5.04 points to 1,556.22.Commodity prices and TSX resource stocks had earlier retreated following the release of weaker than expected Chinese economic data over the weekend.Industrial production was up 9.9% year over year in January while retail sales rose 12.3% in February. However, both figures were below expectations and weaker than the previous month.Worries also grew that China’s central bank is reining in lending as other figures showed that new loans came in at a less than expected 620 billion yuan.On top of it all, China’s inflation rate was 3.2% in February, which was also higher than economists expected.Analysts also cautioned that the Chinese numbers were likely impacted by the country’s Lunar New Year holiday period and suggested it would take a few more months of data to get a clearer picture. But they point out that China is still a star economic performer, just not as strong as before.“It’s slowing down from its best levels but the whole world economy has slowed their growth,” said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer at Sun Life Financial.“And China feels the same pain but it still has a much, much higher growth rate than any around the world and so when you look at it from that perspective, it’s still a strong area of growth.”That sentiment was evident on the metals market where May copper shook off early declines to close a cent higher at US$3.52 a pound. The base metals also recovered early losses and closed slightly higher.Inmet Mining Corp. (TSX:IMN) continues to be in play. It’s the target of a $5.1-billion hostile takeover offer from First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM), which has said its offer of stock and cash worth about $72 per share will expire later Monday. Toronto-based Inmet has recommended that shareholders reject First Quantum’s bid, although it hasn’t produced a superior offer. Inmet shares rose 11 cents to C$68.63 while First Quantum was 22 cents higher at $20.64.The energy sector also moved into positive territory, up 0.27% with April crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 11 cents to US$92.06 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) gained 13 cents at C$31.58 .The gold sector was the biggest TSX drag, down about 0.45% as April bullion gained $1.10 to US$1,578 an ounce. Goldcorp (TSX:G) faded 33 cents to C$33.23.The board of Aurizon Mines Ltd. (TSX:ARZ) has adopted a new shareholder rights plan, saying it wants to prevent Alamos Gold Inc. (TSX:AGI) from using its voting power to defeat a better takeover offer from a rival company. Alamos already owns 16% of Aurizon and has offered to buy up the rest of its stock.Aurizon’s board is supporting a rival offer from Hecla Mining Co. and said Monday that its new rights plan will ensure all shareholders are treated equally. Alamos shares added two cents at C$14.56 while Aurizon shares were four cents lower at $4.51.Consumer staples stocks also weighed on the TSX as Maple Leaf Foods (TSX:MFI) gave back 59 cents to $12.91.In other corporate news, Clearwater Seafoods Inc. (TSX:CLR) shares rose 12 cents to $5.09 as it reported quarterly net income of $10.5 million or 17 cents a basic share, down from $16.4 million a year ago. It also posted record revenues of $350.4 million for all of 2012.On the domestic economic front, data coming out at the end of the week is expected to show the Canadian housing market is cooling at a faster pace. Existing home sales for February are expected to show a 12.5% year-over-year decline following a 5.2% slide in January. Average prices for February are expected to slip one%.In the U.S., investors will take in the February report on retail sales on Wednesday. It is expected sales rose by 0.5% following a 0.1% rise in January.Here’s the news investors were watching today: House prices to remain flat for 10 years: TDBlackBerry jumps 11%, most in over a month, after Lenovo drops more hints it may consider bidDow record not necessarily a signal to pile into stocksCanada may be knocked down G7 economic ranks as growth outlook remains weak: OECDON DECK TUESDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADAManpower survey (Q2) UNITED STATES7:30 a.m.NFIB Small business economic trends survey (Feb): economists expect a reading of 90, up from last month 7:45 a.m.Same-store sales 2 p.m.Treasury budget (Feb) CORPORATE NEWSCANADAEmpire Co Q3 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.16 a share UNITED STATESCostco Wholesale Corp: Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.06 a share read more

A third of David Camerons party will vote against him over EU

first_imgBRITISH PRIME MINISTER David Cameron is bracing for a fresh rebellion from his backbench MPs this week, with close to 100 Conservative MPs set to defy him in a parliamentary vote.Tory divisions over Britain’s membership of the European Union – which never far below the surface – have burst out into the open once again ahead of the expected vote on Wednesday.Eurosceptic MP John Baron has tabled a non-binding motion expressing “regret” that last week’s Queen’s Speech, which set out the government priorities for the year, did not include a promise to legislate for a referendum on EU membership.Cameron has promised to hold a referendum if his party wins a majority at the next general election in 2015. Currently the Tories share power with the smaller pro-EU Liberal Democrats.Reports suggest 100 MPs are likely to support Baron’s motion – a third of the Conservatives’ parliamentary party, and an increase on the 81 Tory MPs who demanded a referendum in a 2011 vote.Cameron’s office has said he is “relaxed” about next week’s vote, but it emerged this weekend that ministers have been told they cannot support Baron’s amendment and should abstain.It would be unprecedented for ministers to vote against their own government’s Queen’s Speech, but many Eurosceptics in the cabinet would also likely refuse to openly condemn a motion which reflects their own views.Media storm ahead of the voteAmid front-page newspaper headlines proclaiming “Tory civil war” and “Tories in Europe turmoil”, senior Conservative ministers took to the airwaves on Sunday to try to calm the storm.“You can’t have a civil war when everyone is on the same side,” said education secretary Michael Gove, who claimed that the “overwhelming majority” of Tory MPs wanted a different relationship with Brussels, and admitted that he believed leaving the EU would be “perfectly tolerable”.But Gove said the rebels simply “want to let off steam” and insisted Cameron’s promise to renegotiate Britain’s terms of membership with the EU, before putting them to a public vote in 2017, was the right approach.However, Baron wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that the prime minister’s pledge “is not yet believable”.He said legislating for a referendum “would put this right” and vowed in the coming weeks to seek “every means possible to bring legislation to parliament”.Home Secretary Theresa May and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond also backed the prime minister’s plans in television interviews and confirmed they would abstain in next week’s vote.May said she had “every sympathy” with the rebels but added: “I don’t think it’s right for ministers to effectively vote against the programme we put forward in the Queen’s Speech.”Hammond was asked if he shouldn’t therefore vote against Baron’s motion, and for the Queen’s Speech.“I wouldn’t want to vote against it and allow that to be misinterpreted as in any way questioning our commitment to, our belief in, the idea of a referendum,” he said.- © AFP, 2013Read: David Cameron promises referendum on Britain’s EU membership by 2017last_img read more