TSX hits one-week high as energy, Valeant provide boost

Tue Jul 2, 2013 5:17pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index touched a one-week high on Tuesday as weakness in gold producers and smartphone maker BlackBerry (BB.TO: Quote) was offset by robust gains in the energy sector, fueled by a jump in the price of oil, and by a rise in Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO: Quote).

Investors were encouraged by data showing U.S. new motor vehicle sales in June were poised to record their strongest month in more than 5-1/2 years and that factories posted a second straight month of gains in new orders in May.

The index climbed for a third straight session, playing catch-up with gains in global equities on Monday, when the Toronto market was closed for the Canada Day holiday.

The energy sector had the biggest positive influence on the Canadian market as supply worries in the Middle East and Africa boosted oil prices. <O/R>

"We're seeing value across the resource space, including energy, but definitely not without some volatility," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner Investment Partners, a unit of Richardson GMP. "On a relative basis, the valuations are becoming very attractive in the energy sector."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 49.27 points, or 0.41 percent, at 12,178.38. The index hit a high of 12,217.36 earlier in the session.

Despite Tuesday's gain, the resource-heavy index is down about 2.1 percent this year because of a lackluster outlook for commodities, trailing the S&P 500 .SPX and other global tock market measures.

"It is a stock picker's market," said Jordan Zinberg, managing director and portfolio manager at Donville Kent Asset Management. "Investors who are buying the index are going to be fairly disappointed; they have been fairly disappointed over the past few years."   Continued...

A sign displays TSX information in Toronto October 6, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch