TORONTO — The Toronto stock market moved higher early Monday after Statistics Canada reported that the economy grew more than expected in January. The S&P/TSX composite index lifted 34.71 points to 14,295.43 shortly after the Toronto market opened. The Canadian dollar was at 90.72 cents US, rising 0.3 of a cent. The federal agency reports that Canada’s gross domestic product grew by 0.5% in January, ahead of the forecast of 0.3% growth. Economists had expected the economy to rebound after declining 0.5% in December, when bad weather affected much of the country. At the end of the week, Statistics Canada will release employment data for March. It’s expected that overall employment will have risen by 20,000, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at about 7%. In commodities, the May crude oil contract rose 11 cents to $101.78, while gold bullion lost $1.10 to $1,293.20 for June. May copper slipped one cent to US3.03 a pound while June bullion fell $2.10 to US$1,292.20 an ounce. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials added 149.37 points to 16,472.43, the Nasdaq lifted 48.09 points to 4,203.85 and the S&P 500 index rose 15.85 points to 1,873.47. In corporate developments, Encana Corp. has agreed to sell certain natural gas properties in Wyoming for about US$1.8 billion to an affiliate of TPG Capital. The deal involves about 1,500 active wells in the Jonah field. Darren Entwistle is steppinig aside as president and CEO of Telus Corp., one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies. He’ll be replaced in those posts by Telus veteran executive Joe Natale effective May 8, when the company has its shareholders meeting. Canadian autoparts manufacturer Martinrea International Inc. is looking for a new president and chief executive officer to replace Nick Orlando, who will remain in the position for now. The announcement came as Martinrea reported financial results for the year and fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 and said a special committee of its board has concluded its review of earlier public disclosures and determined there’s no need to change earlier statements. Shares of Martinrea were up $1.33 or 15% to $10.10. European bourses were slightly higher after consumer price data for the euro zone showed inflation at its lowest since late 2009. The annualized rate in March fell to 0.5%, which was below analyst estimates. London’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.7%, Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.3% and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.1%. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.90%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.39% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.41%.
The university students gathered at Fort and staged a demonstration before dispersing. University students staged a mass protest in Colombo today against the SAITM private institute.Students entered Colombo from different locations causing a severe traffic jam in Colombo.