TSX closes higher, gains crimped by swing lower in oil price

Wed Dec 9, 2015 4:34pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday, a day after its weakest close in more than two years, although a swing lower in crude oil prices dampened gains for the resource-linked market.

"The market appears to be following oil," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

Oil prices fell for a fourth day in a row on Wednesday after the market ignored an unexpected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles to focus on a build in distillates.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $37.16 a barrel, down 0.93 percent, while Brent crude LCOc1 added 0.1 percent to $40.29.

The energy group firmed 0.5 percent, helped by gains for pipeline companies, but closed well below session highs.

Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) rose 3.0 percent to C$43.13, while TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote) was up 6.8 percent at C$43.80. Some investors view the dividends of these Canadian infrastructure stocks as well protected from commodity price weakness and the overall industry slowdown.

Railway stocks also advanced, including a 1.9 percent rise in Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO: Quote) to C$174.96.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 15.12 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,937.59, with five of the index's 10 main groups in positive territory.   Continued...

A Bay Street sign, a symbol of Canada's economic markets and where main financial institutions are located, is seen in Toronto, May 1, 2013.     REUTERS/Mark Blinch