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March 20, 2020, 11:58 a.m. EDT

Stocks Climb on Energy Recovery

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Mar 20, 2020 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, powered by energy stocks that tracked higher oil prices, as policymakers across the world poured unprecedented aid into the global economy to stop a coronavirus-driven recession.

The TSX Composite Index soared 347.41 points, or 2.9%, to move into noon hour EDT at 12,517.93

The Canadian dollar was lifted 0.95 cents at 69.91 cents U.S.

Among the largest percentage gainers on the TSX was Shawcor Ltd, which jumped 56 cents, or 68.3%, to $1.38. Shares of Hexo Corp. rose 19 cents, or 23.5%, to $1.00.

Centerra Gold fell 92 cents, or 11%, the most on the TSX, to $7.41, followed by shares of NovaGold Resources, down 61 cents, or 5.5%, to $10.39.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada said retail sales rose for the third consecutive month, up 0.4% to $52.0 billion in January.

The agency acknowledges, while the impacts of the coronavirus on the retail trade sector will be more noticeable in subsequent months, respondent comments for February note that business activities have been impacted.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange grew 7.37 points, or 2.1%, to 361.04.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive at the midpoint of the session, with health-care springing 7.6%, energy 6% to the good, and consumer discretionary adding 5.4%.

The three laggards were gold, duller in price by 2%, while materials surrendered 1.9%, and communications stocks slid 0.03%.

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