By Adriano Marchese

Stocks in Toronto continued their modest advance in midday trading on Thursday, the last trading day in Canada before the Easter Holiday long weekend. The country's economic output increased slightly more than expected in January at a rate of 0.6%, due to a recovery following the end of public-sector strikes in Quebec and a bounce-back in manufacturing activity.

Sector performance was mixed in the session, with losses mainly in consumer services, distribution services and utilities. These were offset by gains primarily in materials, health tech and consumer durable stocks.

Canada's S&P/TSX Composite Index was 0.33% higher at 22181.13, and the blue-chip S&P/TSX 60 rose by 0.36% to 1334.87.

Shares in Hut 8 advanced by nearly 21% to 16.21 Canadian dollars ($11.95) after the company swung to a profit and generated higher revenue in the first half of fiscal 2024. The company said that its performance in the period benefited from the contribution from its recent merger with US Bitcoin in late November.

Other market movers:

Aya Gold & Silver shares were down 5.4% at C$11.80 after it said silver production declined in the fourth quarter from its operations in Morocco, despite exceeding targets for the full 2023 year. In the fourth quarter, total silver produced were down by 32% to 450,046 ounces, while silver sales fell 24% to 507,635 ounces.

BRP on Thursday reported lower-than-expected earnings and revenue in its fourth quarter as unfavorable weather affected its snow-related business, and set guidance for the new fiscal year that forecast a decline, missing analyst views. Scotiabank analyst Jonathan Goldman said the decline in expected revenue was for the most part from seasonal products, and not cyclical. Shares were up 5% at C$90.65.

Write to Adriano Marchese at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-28-24 1218ET