TSX just squeezes higher as oil shares rise

Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:13pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher for a second straight day on Wednesday as crude oil hit a 2015 high and lifted energy stocks, while a U.S. Federal Reserve statement clouded the U.S. economic outlook.

The Fed downgraded its view of the labor market and economy in Canada's largest trading partner, leaving some investors to wonder what factors could coax the Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE higher.

"Leaving oil aside, I don't know what else can rescue the TSX, that's my problem," said Keith Richards, a portfolio manager and technical analyst at ValueTrend Wealth Management in Barrie, Ontario. "I'm wait and see on oil, and that's why I'm wait and see on Toronto."

Mixed earnings reports also buffeted the market.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc's (VRX.TO: Quote) shares jumped 3.7 percent to C$256.30 on a stronger sales outlook, while disappointing earnings from business software company OpenText Corp OTC.TO pushed its stock down 6.3 percent to C$62.46.

Crude prices hit their highest level this year, and were on track for a more than 20 percent gain in April as U.S. data suggested a U.S. supply glut may be starting to ease.

The index's energy group gained 0.9 percent, led by Canadian Oil Sands Ltd's COS.TO 3.6 percent rise to C$12.66, and Suncor Energy Inc's (SU.TO: Quote) 0.4 percent increase to C$39.88. Crescent Point Energy Corp (CPG.TO: Quote) added 1.5 percent to C$31.96.

At the other end of the group, top decliners included two pipeline companies: Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) fell 1.3 percent to C$63.95, and TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote) slid 1.8 percent to C$56.04.   Continued...

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