By Adriano Marchese

Toronto-listed stocks were firmly higher in midday trading on Thursday. Canadian banks continued their fiscal first-quarter earnings, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce benefiting from stronger domestic business and Toronto-Dominion Bank from its capital markets segment.

On the macroeconomic side, Canada's economy in the fourth quarter showed strong-than-anticipated growth of 1.0% thanks to a jump in exports that more than made up for a continued decline in business investment.

In the session, tech was the main gainer, followed more distantly by energy and materials. The outsized laggard was consumer durables, followed by tech services and commercial services stocks.

At midday, Canada's S&P/TSX Composite Index was up by 0.21% to 21288.66 and the blue-chip S&P/TSX 60 rose by 0.23% to 1285.37.

Leading the Canadian banks in the session was Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, with shares rising 1.5% to 63.80 Canadian dollars ($46.98) after reporting an increase in first-quarter earnings and higher revenue.

Other market movers:

Toronto-Dominion Bank reported higher profit and better-than-expected revenue in the fiscal first quarter thanks to a strong performance in its Canadian banking segment, while provisions for credit losses rose in step with the industry trend. Shares were up 0.2% to C$80.74.

Canadian Natural Resources stock was up 4.6% to C$94.02 after it said fourth-quarter profit rose and that it plans to return all free cash flow to shareholders after reaching its targeted debt levels sooner than anticipated.

Shares in Canadian cannabinoid-products company Cronos Group were down by 8.6% to C$2.78 after it reported revenue growth was lower than expected in the fourth quarter.

The Toronto-listed shares of Lion Electric were down 14% to C$1.96 after the electric vehicle manufacturer reported a wider loss in the fourth quarter and said that it would temporarily layoff staff to adjust to lower vehicle output and deliveries.

Write to Adriano Marchese at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-29-24 1227ET