RIM leads TSX higher

The Toronto stock market was ahead Monday near midday as commodities traded in a tight range and Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) shares continued their upwards trek.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 40.05 points to 12,765.74. The TSX Venture Exchange was 2.45 points higher to 1,237.77.The Canadian dollar was down 0.11 of a cent to 100.72 cents US, near a three-week low.U.S. stock and bond markets are closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In commodities, February bullion rose $2.50 to US$1,689.50 an ounce while copper prices were down.The February crude contract on the Nymex slid 44 cents to US$95.12 a barrel.Shares of Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) rose another seven per cent as the BlackBerry maker heads towards the unveiling of its new smartphones on Jan. 30. Its stock was up $1.32 to $17.03 on Monday. That’s more than 170 per cent above a 52-week low of $6.10 hit last September.The Waterloo, Ont.-based company has benefited from recent analyst upgrades and an interview with CEO Thorsten Heins in a German newspaper, where he suggested the company could sell its hardware division and licence its operating system to a third party.Elsewhere, the board of directors at Rona Inc. is being renovated under the watchful eye of two major fund managers that have a large stake in the struggling home improvement retailer.Rona (TSX:RON) has been under fire from many investors since the Montreal-area company defeated a proposed takeover attempt by Lowe’s. Its shares gained 30 cents to $11.80.Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) shares were ahead four cents to $2.44 after the landing gear of an Air Canada Jazz plane fell off after it landed at Toronto’s Pearson airport on Sunday. Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stuart said pilots kept complete control of the plane during the incident, which saw emergency vehicles race out to the plane as a precautionary measure.Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.8 per cent to 6,181.64, while Germany’s DAX advanced 0.6 per cent to 7,748.60. France’s CAC-40 gained 0.5 per cent to 3,760.70.Earlier in Asia, markets were more cautious, with Japanese shares hit hard by a rise in the yen. The Nikkei 225 fell 1.5 per cent to close at 10,747.74.The Bank of Japan began a two-day policy meeting and has been under pressure from the new government to take more aggressive steps to fight the long deflationary slump in the world’s third largest economy. Some analysts expect the bank to expand its asset-purchasing program and set an inflation target.

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