Oil-share bounce helps TSX edge higher ahead of Fed

Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:52pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Tuesday, lifted by a small bounce-back in oil producers, as investors anxiously awaited a U.S. Federal Reserve statement on its policy outlook.

After being beaten down for months, energy shares rose, shrugging off rising crude inventories that renewed worries about a global supply glut and sent the price of U.S. crude to a six-year low on Tuesday. [O/R]

Market focus was on a two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting as investors hoped that a Fed statement on Wednesday would provide clarification on when it might start raising interest rates.

“The market is a little undecided. You can see that the market is really split on what's going to happen tomorrow,” said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager and president at M.Y. Capital Management Corp in Vancouver.

“The market will swing back and forth until there is clarity from the Fed,” he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 35.77 points, or 0.24 percent, at 14,898.53. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

The energy sector climbed 0.9 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd advanced 1.4 percent at C$37.62, and Enbridge Inc rose 2.9 percent to C$61.31.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, slipped. Bank of Montreal lost 0.8 percent to C$76.25, and Bank of Nova Scotia slipped 0.7 percent to C$63.33.   Continued...

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