TSX climbs on Yellen comments; Talisman, Encana jump

Wed May 7, 2014 4:58pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced on Wednesday as market-supportive comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen helped fuel gains in energy and financial shares.

Yellen said the central bank will continue to provide a high degree of monetary policy accommodation, while citing geopolitical turmoil and weak housing data as risks to the U.S. economy.

Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) gained 4.6 percent to C$25.69 after the company said it is buying producing assets in the Eagle Ford shale field in Texas from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX.N: Quote) for $3.1 billion, nearly doubling its oil output.

Investors also digested a wave of quarterly reports, including several from energy companies. Shares of Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO, Husky Energy Inc HSE.TO and Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) all advanced after they posted profits.

The Canadian benchmark index is up about 7.6 percent this year. The market ended higher after volatile trading, following declines in the previous two sessions.

"This is a movie that we've seen before," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management. "It has got a dual plot. The playbook is optimistic one day and pessimistic the next day."

"We accept that it will be slow, wobbly growth and wrapped up in some turmoil and uncertainty," he said, adding that investors should counter increasing market volatility with diversification.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 44.11 points, or 0.30 percent, at 14,656.40.   Continued...

A sign shows TSX information in Toronto September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch