September 3, 2014 / 11:30 AM / in 3 years

TSX helped by Ukraine and China; Canexus weighs

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014.Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index notched a broad but shallow rise on Wednesday, boosted by news of a ceasefire agreement between Ukraine and Russia and a rebound in Chinese economic data.

The index scaled a fresh record, propelled by gains in banking, industrial and energy stocks as the global outlook brightened.

Convenience store and gas station operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc (ATDb.TO) jumped 6.7 percent to C$35.45 after it said it had agreed to sell its aviation fuel business.

Bucking the trend, Canexus Corp CUS.TO shares fell 11.2 percent to C$4.75 after the chemical company said it was suing MEG Energy Corp (MEG.TO) for refusing it access to a pipeline.

"It does seem like this is the latest in a series of missteps," said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver. "I think there is a degree of frustration among investors."

"When you have the market at all-time highs and a company runs into unexpected hurdles, investors are going to sell first and ask questions later," Picardo said.

Analysts at CIBC called the development a "nightmare" in a note to clients. MEG gained 1.5 percent to C$38.62.

In China, two surveys showed the services sector rebounded in August, offsetting factory weakness. Canada's resource-heavy index is sensitive to positive signs out of China.

Despite some confusion, statements from Kiev and Moscow appeared to indicate progress towards resolution of a festering conflict that has put Europe on edge.

The improved outlook in both China and Europe helped the TSX, which is sensitive to global growth prospects.

"It's a combination of things; Ukraine/Russia definitely puts a more positive geopolitical environment over Europe, but the other thing is we had some pretty positive data coming out of China overnight," said Philip Petursson, from the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session up 38.55 points, or 0.25 percent, at 15,657.63. It hit 15,685.13 at one point, the latest in a string of record highs this year as resource stocks bounce.

Eight of the 10 main sectors moved higher.

The energy sector .SPTTEN has gained roughly 17 percent so far this year as investors bought into undervalued stocks.

"For this rally on the cyclical side to continue we need global growth to kick in," Petursson said.

He said valuations were still on the low end of fair value for many oil and gas names, including Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), which was up 1 percent at C$44.11.

Editing by Bernadette Baum and Meredith Mazzilli

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