The Canadian stock market was holding in positive territory around noon on Friday, despite several counters witnessing sluggish movements as investors digest news about a U.S.-China trade deal.
According to reports, Chinese officials have confirmed that the U.S. and China have reached an agreement on text of a phase one trade deal.
As per the agreement, the U.S. will not implement tariff hikes proposed to take effect on Sunday and instead, begin phasing out existing tariffs. Tariffs imposed on September 1 will now be cut to 7.5% from 15%, although the 25% tariff on other Chinese goods will remain in place.
China has reportedly agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of U.S. agricultural products, energy, and manufactured goods.
Information technology and materials shares were among the notable gainers. Energy, financial, industrial and consumer discretionary stocks were turning in a mixed performance, while consumer staples, telecommunications and healthcare shares were weak.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 51.73 points, or 0.31%, at 16,998.63 at noon.
Power Financial Corporation (PWF.TO) rallied 10% and Power Corporation of Canada (POW.TO) climbed nearly 8%.
Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO), MEG Energy Corp (MEG.TO), Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO), Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO), Yamana Corporation (YRI.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) were up 1 to 2%.
Enghouse Systems Limited (ENGH.TO) shares soared 16% after the company reported a net income of $24.7 million or $0.45 per share, for the fourth quarter, an increase of 26.3% from 19.6 million or $0.36 per diluted share last year.
Net income for the year was $70.8 million or $1.29 per diluted share compared to $57.7 million or $1.06 per diluted share in the prior year, an increase of 22.7%.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) announced on Thursday that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell all banking operations in the Eastern Caribbean to a consortium of indigenous banks within the region. The stock was up by about 0.8% at noon.