TSX gains on Fed comfort; energy shares drag

Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:19pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced marginally on Thursday, with overall gains limited by declines in energy and some financial shares, as the boost provided by a more dovish U.S. Federal Reserve tone was undercut by concern over the Greek debt crisis.

Investors worried about possibly drastic effects as the Fed raises interest rates took comfort in the central bank's latest view of the U.S. economy, which hints at a slower pace of rate hikes.

"Equities seem to be taking some comfort from the Fed announcement, however the benefits are not as far-reaching as domestic investors would like with the TSX trailing the U.S. today," said Shailesh Kshatriya, director of Canadian strategies at Russell Investments.

The three main U.S. indexes gained at least 1 percent each, with the Nasdaq closing at a record high. [.N]

Meanwhile expectations were low that Greece and its creditors will reach a deal to prevent the debt-ridden country from defaulting at the end of June.

"Those seem to be the two things that are playing out here," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier. "We still have to wait another month or so before earnings."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 37.66 points, or 0.26 percent, at

14,770.64. Seven of the ten main sectors gained.   Continued...

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