Canadian equities remained mixed on Thursday, as weakening crude oil and natural gas prices weighed on investors’ sentiments. Nonetheless, renewed buying in most other key market sectors helped the S&P/TSX Composite Index post a minor gain of four points to 20,279, ending its three-day-long losing streak.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Despite weakness in the prices of energy products, Athabasca Oil (TSX:ATH) jumped more than 10% to $3.70 per share, making it the top-performing TSX Composite component for the day. This rally in ATH stock came a day after the Calgary-headquartered energy firm released its 2024 budget update.
In a press release, Athabasca Oil told investors that its 2024 budget’s main focus remains on profitable production growth and strong free cash flow generation. The budget includes capital expenditures of $175 million, with activities centred on completing a 28,000 barrel-per-day “expansion project at Leismer, sustaining capital at Hangingstone, and three Duvernay pads at Kaybob.” After this rally, ATH stock is now up 53.5% year to date.
Bombardier, North West Company, and Dye & Durham were also among the top gainers on the Toronto Stock Exchange yesterday, as they jumped by at least 4.6% each.
On the flip side, Osisko Mining, Interfor, Laurentian Bank of Canada (TSX:LB), and Canfor dived by over 4% each, making them the day’s worst-performing TSX stocks.
The latest round of selloffs in Laurentian Bank stock came after the Montréal-headquartered lender announced its weaker-than-expected October quarter results. During the quarter, Laurentian Bank’s total revenue fell 3.8% year over year to $247.5 million. More importantly, weak financial markets revenues and higher provisions for credit losses drove its adjusted quarterly earnings down by 23.7% from a year ago to $1 per share, missing Bay Street analysts’ estimate of $1.16 per share. On a year-to-date basis, LB stock is now down 21.7%.
Based on their daily trade volume, Canadian Natural Resource, Cenovus Energy, Suncor Energy, Athabasca Oil, and Toronto-Dominion Bank were the five most active stocks on the exchange.
Commodity prices were largely bullish early Friday morning, pointing to a slightly higher open for the resource-heavy main TSX index today. While no key domestic economic releases are due, Canadian investors will closely monitor monthly non-farm payrolls, unemployment rate, and average hourly earnings data from the United States this morning, which could give further direction to TSX stocks.
On the corporate events side, Canadian Western Bank will announce its latest quarterly results on December 8. Street analysts expect the bank to adjusted quarterly earnings of $0.88 per share with $291.1 million in revenue.