TSX hits fresh 19-month high as energy climbs

Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:11pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose to a fresh 19-month high on Tuesday, led by gains in heavyweight energy and banking stocks, while materials stocks weighed.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 97.57 points, or 0.64 percent, at 15,385.27, its highest close since April 24, 2015.

"It's just follow-through from the momentum over the last few weeks," said Patrick Blais, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

The index has rallied 5 percent since the U.S. election in November, helped by the prospect of U.S. economic stimulus.

"I think the market was looking for a catalyst ... a lot of momentum has been building up in the U.S. economy," Blais said.

Higher oil prices have added to recent momentum for Canada's resource-linked market after the first agreement to cut production in eight years by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

U.S. crude oil futures settled up 15 cents at $52.98 a barrel, building on Monday's strong rally, while the energy group jumped 1.7 percent.

Gains for the energy group came as former Texas Governor Rick Perry was chosen to head the U.S. Department of Energy.   Continued...

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