TSX closes higher, led by energy

Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:57pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, led by energy stocks despite a nearly seven-year low for crude oil, while the information technology and materials groups also outperformed in a broad-based rally.

"It seems like some bargain hunters are coming in on the energy sector and it's helping the market," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of Richardson GMP Ltd.

Weak crude oil prices are creating opportunities for long-term investors in the oil and gas sector, the chief executive of one of Canada's 10 biggest pension funds said.

Energy stocks rose 1.2 percent, led by a 3.5 percent gain for Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) to C$29.96. TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote) rose 2.0 percent to C$44.68.

The information technology group surged 2.9 percent, paced by a 7.7 percent gain for BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO: Quote) to C$10.76.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 79 points, or 0.61 percent, at 13,016.59, with all 10 of the index's main groups in positive territory.

Financials were up just 0.1 percent after paring earlier gains.

Weak economic growth and a potential credit bubble are headwinds for the sector, according to Zohny.   Continued...

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