TSX advances as resource shares climb

Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:46pm EDT
 
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Friday as shares of oil producers and miners rose with commodity prices, helping the index record a weekly gain.

Oil, copper and other commodity prices benefited from weakness in the U.S. dollar, which has been choppy since the U.S. Federal Reserve released a cautious policy statement on Wednesday that signaled it was moving toward raising interest rates but at a slower pace than some had expected.

The price of U.S. crude oil jumped 4 percent on Friday, while copper prices gained more than 3.3 percent and the bullion price advanced 1.8 percent.

"Fear of an imminent interest rate hike appears to be dissipating, but the prospect of one seems to have created greater volatility in the market,” said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management.

“We are in a rather uncertain period,” he added. “The market is likely to trade sideways from here.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 68.48 points, or 0.46 percent, at 14,942.41. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red, but gains in the heavily weighted energy and mining sectors helped overcome the broader weakness.

The industrial sector slipped, with Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO: Quote) losing 1.4 percent to C$85.90 and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd CP.TO giving back 0.7 percent to C$237.76.

But shares of energy producers climbed 1 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO rose 1.3 percent to C$37.21, and Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) added 0.9 percent to C$13.87.   Continued...

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