TSX ends up 0.4 percent despite drag from energy shares

Wed May 27, 2015 4:44pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index bounced back on Wednesday, with gains for banks and industrial stocks leading the charge and overshadowing losses among energy names, which wilted along with underlying commodity prices.

Air Canada (AC.TO: Quote) was a major winner, jumping 8 percent to C$13.59, after it said its pension funding gap had evaporated and more cash could be returned to investors or spent on new planes.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 59.66 points, or 0.40 percent, at 15,110.47.

Shares in banks were broadly higher as quarterly results from several major lenders helped ease concerns about the impact of an oil price slump and sluggish Canadian economy.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) and National Bank of Canada NA.TO each gained marginally after both reported higher-than-expected quarterly profits and raised dividends.

"The notion that the banks were going to have huge credit losses because of what's going on in Alberta is wrong, or certainly at least premature," said David Baskin, portfolio manager and president of Baskin Financial Services.

Peers such as Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia, who will follow with earnings later this week, also rose.

The index's energy sector retreated 0.7 percent. It has struggled with a precipitous drop in oil prices, which recently leveled out far below the roughly $100 per barrel price of a year ago.   Continued...

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