TSX gains traction after Bank of Canada keeps rates unchanged

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market moved higher on Wednesday morning after the Bank of Canada left its key interest rate unchanged.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 19.65 points to 13,971.42, while the Canadian dollar fell 0.45 of a cent to 90.60 cents U.S.The central bank kept the interest rate at 1.0% and lowered its forecast for inflation, as was widely expected.In commodities, the February gold bullion contract slipped $1.30 to US$1,240.50 an ounce.Morgan Stanley has scaled back its expectations for gold prices over the next two years, saying that equity markets won’t need the safe haven of the precious metal as much as they did when the economies were more pained.The report cut target prices by 12% to US$1,160 an ounce in 2014 and 13% to $1,138 in 2015.On the TSX, gold stocks were down 1.1%.The energy sector gained 0.1% as the February crude oil contract moved up 79 cents to US$95.76 a barrel.Information technology stocks were the biggest gainer, rising 1.1%, with shares of BlackBerry ahead 48 cents to $11.36.BlackBerry announced on Tuesday it is selling the majority of its commercial real estate holdings in Canada, but the struggling smartphone maker refused to say how much it expects to make from the deals.The struggling smartphone maker has been trying to change the course of its money-losing operations under the leadership of new CEO John Chen.Meanwhile, Atlanta-based cloud computing company VMware says it is buying mobile computing company AirWatch for about $1.18 billion in cash. AirWatch has been one of BlackBerry’s most aggressive competitors for big business customers.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials slipped 25.68 points to 16,388.76, the Nasdaq was 6.05 points higher to 4,231.81 and the S&P 500 index was ahead 1.76 points to 1,846.56.Weighing on the market were disappointing financial results from IBM Corp. after market close on Tuesday.IBM reported that fourth-quarter net income grew 6%, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations even though revenue declined. Chief executive Ginni Rometty said she’s recommending that senior executives, including herself, forgo personal bonuses for the year.Shares of IBM were down 3% to US$182.48.In other corporate developments, Air Canada says its domestic pension plans had a small surplus as of Jan. 1, according to preliminary estimates — contrasting with the $3.7-billion solvency deficit that they had a year earlier. Shares of the company were up 4%, or 36 cents, to $9.28.TransCanada Corp. says it will provide more details about the official startup of crude oil shipments on the southern portion of its controversial Keystone XL pipeline later today. TransCanada had previously announced Jan. 22 as the date for deliveries to U.S. refineries in the Gulf of Mexico region.TransCanada shares gained 22 cents to $48.69.In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of major British stocks fell 0.09% to 6,825 and Germany’s DAX inched up 0.03% to 9,773. The CAC-40 in France added 0.4% to 4,341.Japan’s Nikkei, the regional heavyweight, gained 0.2% to 15,820.96 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2% to 23,082.25. read more