Stock markets up at the open

Stockhouse Editorial
0 Comments| February 22, 2013

North American stocks were higher as the Canadian dollar hit a 7-month low amid data showing lower than expected retail sales and low inflation figures. 

The TSX rose 58 points to 12,697.97, while the Venture exchange gained 7.83 points to 1,141.80. 

Shares of Canadian fertilizer company Agrium Inc. (TSX: T.AGU, Stock Forum) fell 5% to $103.25 after reporting a record profit for the fourth quarter that beat estimates due to higher demand for crop protection products. 

Canadian contract driller Western Energy Services Corp. (TSX: T.WRG, Stock Forum) said it would buy IROC Energy Services Corp. (TSX: V.ISC, Stock Forum) for about $157 million in cash and stock, gaining an entry into the oilfield equipment rental sector. 

Western Energy tumbled 7.7% to $7.31 in early trading. IROC jumped 25% to $2.97. 

The Dow was up 49.99 points to 13,930.61 and the Nasdaq rose 16.901 points to 3.148,39. 

Gold prices dropped $0.88 to $1,575.32, while the price of silver was off $0.109 to $28.58.

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