Oil price jump pushes resource-rich TSX higher

Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:52pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - A surge in the price of oil helped Canada's main stock index gain on Wednesday, as its weighty oil and gas companies rose.

During the session, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index hit a fresh seven-month high, although it later pared those advances to finish up 0.4 percent.

"The TSX is taking its cue from what's going on in crude oil," said Shailesh Kshatriya, an associate director for client strategies for Russell Investments Canada.

U.S. crude jumped nearly 6 percent to a 2015 high after U.S. inventory data came in lighter than expected. [O/R]

But Kshatriya warned that just as the Canadian index can rise on the fortunes of its energy industry, which accounts for more than 20 percent of its weight, so too can it fall.

"If there is another potential leg down in crude oil prices a lot of momentum that the energy trade has been garnering over the last several session could quickly reverse," he said.

Among the most influential oil and gas stocks were Suncor Energy Inc, which added 1.9 percent to C$40.67, and Canadian Natural Resources, which gained 1.9 percent to C$42. The index's energy sector overall climbed 2.6 percent.

"It's been a good day for crude oil, and that's helping Canada. For the moment, it looks as though crude oil is bottoming out," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.   Continued...

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch