TSX rallies as oil prices boost energy; Shopify surges

Thu May 21, 2015 4:57pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rebounded on Thursday as financial and energy stocks, bolstered by a rally in oil prices, pushed the TSX to its best performance in more than a week.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International VRX.TO was by far the most influential individual gainer on the index, rising 2.4 percent to C$285.23. The company is in talks to buy Egyptian drugmaker Amoun Pharmaceutical Co, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday.

Other influential movers included Enbridge Inc ENB.TO, which climbed 2.62 percent to C$62.67, and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, which advanced 2.4 percent to C$38.85.

The overall energy sector climbed more than 2.2 percent, tracking higher oil prices, which rose on expectations that excess global crude supply was starting to ease. Fighting in Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer, helped pushed up prices.[O/R]

"The price of oil really helps. It was a big driver for the market. ...(Iraq)'s probably got people a little worried," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management, though he said he was not especially positive on oil prices over the long term.

U.S. crude CLc1 was up nearly 3 percent to $60.72, while Brent crude LCOc1 added 2.3 percent to $66.53.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished 130.78 points higher, or 0.87 percent, to 15,203.61.

"Stocks tend to firm up around Memorial Day weekend," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds, referring to the upcoming U.S. holiday on Monday.   Continued...

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