Canadian stocks headed into positive territory Friday, on relief that Chinese economic data met expectations.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 74.83 points to reach noon time at 11,500.30
The Canadian dollar hiked 0.40 cents at 98.55 cents U.S.
Buoying the market was a climb in energy and consumer discretionary stocks.
Elsewhere, top percentage gainers among commodity companies included NovaGold Resources, up 6.5%, and Second Wave Petroleum, climbing 5%.
Shares of Montreal-based Garda World Security Corp. rose almost 3%, after announcing a subsidary of the company would acquire privately held security company McKinnon Services.
Elsewhere, North American Palladium were down for a fourth-straight session, falling 5%, after saying Monday it will delay commercial production at its Vezza gold mine in Quebec to year end.
It also said that, now that it has all of its permits at Vezza, it believes it's "the appropriate time to explore divestiture opportunities." Later in the week, Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to neutral.
The TSX Venture Exchange took on 9.68 points to 1,178.37. The Nasdaq Canada index inched up 2.58 points to 343.98.
Of the 14 Toronto subgroups, only information technology avoided the party, and losing but 0.2% at that. Everyone else continued their march, led by energy issues, up 1.1%, while consumer discretionary and gold stocks each lost 0.9%
U.S. stocks were sharply higher Friday, with the Dow and S&P 500 on track to snap a six-day losing streak, as JPMorgan Chase reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings despite a trading loss of $5.8 billion U.S. so far this year.
Stocks also gained traction as investors speculated that additional stimulus measures could be on the way in China, where economic growth slowed to a three-year low during the second quarter.
The Dow Jones Industrials zoomed 181.64 points, or 1.4%, at noon to 12,754.91
The S&P 500 added 18.35 points to 1,353.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index spiked 34.43 points to 2,900.62.
Financials stocks were among the strongest performers, with JPMorgan Chase's 4% gain leading the way after the bank reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped expectations.
The bank's chief financial officer said the loss from its chief investment office's errant trades has totaled $5.8 billion U.S. so far this year.
JPMorgan also revealed that traders involved in the loss could lose as much as two years of income and they no longer work at the bank.
Other major U.S. banks also rose in early trading Friday. Shares of Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were all up between 2% and 4%.
Wells Fargo posted earnings of 82 cents on $21.4 billion U.S. in revenue, on par with expectations. On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced the bank agreed to pay $175 million U.S. to settle allegations that it discriminated against minority borrowers. Shares rose almost 3%.
Global banking giant HSBC will face scrutiny on Capitol Hill on Tuesday over its allegedly lax protections against money laundering by organized criminals and terrorist groups. It's not clear if or how much HSBC may be fined over its alleged lapses, though the Financial Times speculated that the bank could be on the hook for up to $1 billion U.S, citing analyst estimates.
Meanwhile, figures released on China's economy added fuel to the notion of a global slowdown, but investors hope that the weakness could prompt Chinese officials to take more steps to stimulate the economy.
In the second quarter, GDP in China grew at an annual pace of 7.6%, the lowest rate in three years and a deceleration from the 8.1% growth rate it saw the previous quarter.
Economically speaking, Washington reported prices in June rose by 0.1%, despite expectations that they would fall by more than half a percentage point.
The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index for July fell to 72, from 72.2 the prior month. The reading was below expectations.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury faded, pushing the yield up to 1.49% from Thursday's 1.48%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for August delivery gained 77 cents to $86.85 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for August delivery rose $28.20 to $1,594.60 U.S. an ounce.