Energy stocks boost TSX as U.S. data helps

Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:28pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday, helped by oil and gas shares, as U.S. data pointed to a jump in business spending plans, while gold miners fell as bullion tumbled.

Among the leading lights on the index were several oil and gas companies active in Canada's western oil fields, including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote), which gained 1.9 percent to C$30.98, and Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote), which added 1.6 percent to C$45.54.

"I'm not sure that this is the beginning of a major sea change in energy, but it's certainly nice to get a bit of a bounce," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.

Domestic energy producers have in recent months felt the pinch of a deep discount for Canadian oil.

The financial sector also added to the index's gains, despite some of its main banking constituents struggling to shake off a pessimistic reading from Bank of Montreal's (BMO.TO: Quote) better-than-expected earnings.

"The retail numbers within BMO's numbers were a little squishy and people immediately extrapolated a sample of one to the other four or five," Hand said.

Four more major Canadian banks -- Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote), and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: Quote) -- are due to report earnings on Thursday morning.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 71.95 points, or 0.57 percent, at 12,732.39. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch