TSX Ends On Upbeat Note Amid Optimism About Covid-19 Treatment

The Canadian stock market ended on an upbeat note on Friday as traders went on a buying spree amid optimism about treatment for the Covid-19.

A report from STAT News that the experimental Covid-19 treatment remdesivir is showing promise in a Chicago clinical trial lifted sentiment across global stock markets.

The mood was also bolstered by U.S. President Donald Trump's guidelines to ease restrictions and 'Opening Up America Again' in a phased manner.

Energy stocks climbed steeply higher despite crude oil prices plunging to dismal lows. The Capped Energy Index shot up by 8.3%. Consumer Discretionary and Information Technology indices both firmed up by over 6.1%. The Financial index surged up 4.52%.

The indices measuring the performances of healthcare, real estate, utilities, industrial and telecom services shares rose 2.28 to 3%, while the Consumer Staples index advanced 1.84%. The Materials index, down 1.12%, was the lone loser.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 460.56 points, or 3.31%, at 14,359.88, slightly off the day's high of 14,365.78.

MEG Energy (MEG.TO) soared more than 19%. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) climbed up 11.7% and 11.5%, respectively. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) gained nearly 8% and Pembina Pipeline Corporation (PPL.TO) surged up 6.5%. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) closed 6% up.

Air Canada (AC.TO) ended stronger by 6.15%. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) gained 4.6%. Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) moved up 9.6% and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) climbed up 8%.

Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) gained 3.5 to 7%.

The Star Group Inc (TSGI.TO) shares rose nearly 17% after the company announced that it expects first quarter revenue of $735 million, a 27% increase over revenue of $580 million it posted a year-ago. Adjusted net earnings is forecast at $185 million, compared with $106 million recorded in the year-ago quarter.

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