Canada's main stock market in Toronto extended tiny gains Wednesday as Statistics Canada reported better-than-expected trade data, although the falling resources shares were still weighing on the trading sentiment.
Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index was 11.94 points higher, or up 0.08 percent, to 14, 502.99 points on the closing bell.
The index surged a triple-digit rise in the morning trading Wednesday after Statistics Canada said that the country's exports increased 6.3 percent in June while imports declined 0.6 percent, and Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from 3.4 billion Canadian dollars (about 2.6 U.S. billion dollars) in May to 476 million Canadian dollars in June.
On the closing bell, gains were seen across non-resources shares, with Health Care leading the increase by 1.53 percent, although resources shares tumbled again after Tuesday's slump, when the mining sector dived 3.19 percent and the energy sector lost 0.58 percent, due to the weaker prices of commodities including oil and gold.
The oil and gas company Encana Corp. lost 6.96 percent to 8.96 Canadian dollars per share, while the giant gold producer Barrick Gold Corp. lost 3.34 percent to 8.67 Canadian dollars a share.
However, a rally in the most influential sector Financials, which was up 0.54 percent, helped strengthen the TSX index, when big banks were seen in the positive territory. Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.94 percent to 77.20 Canadian dollars a share, and Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 0.83 percent to 53.25 Canadian dollars a share.
On the economic beat, investors are waiting for new clues of Canada's growth outlook, since some analysts were worried that the Canadian economy is heading into a "recession" due to the sluggish commodities markets.
However, encouragingly, exports rebounded sharply in June, likely marking the start of an improving trend in the earlier record-large trade deficit, according to an economic outlook report issued by Bank of Montreal Wednesday.
And "while a further leg down in oil prices will continue to weigh on the oil sector in Canada, the non-energy sector is likely to continue to benefit from an improving U.S. economy and low Canadian dollar," Diana Petramala, an economist with TD Bank, wrote in a note Wednesday.
On the currency front, the Canadian dollar on Wednesday was slightly lower at 0.7583 U.S. dollar, when compared with 0.7587 U. S. dollar Tuesday.