TSX rises with financials as gold miners slump

Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:07pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, helped by broad gains for financial stocks a day after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates and struck a hawkish note on further increases, a move which weighed on Canadian gold miners.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 21.13 points, or 0.14 percent, at 15,218.31, while U.S. stocks continued to hover near record levels as investors viewed the Fed's interest rate outlook as a sign of confidence in the economy.

"As long as the consumer remains healthy and we're having wage inflation, the U.S. economy should remain quite strong," said Ben Jang, portfolio manager at Nicola Wealth Management.

"Generally the equity markets can easily absorb rates rising to a certain point."

The financials group gained 0.8 percent as bond yields extended their climb since the U.S. election. Higher yields reduce the value of insurance companies' liabilities and increase net interest margins of banks.

Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.9 percent to C$91.49 and Toronto-Dominion Bank added 1.1 percent to C$66.51.

A strategy to tap debt markets outside of Canada enabled Manulife to complete its biggest round of financing for seven years during 2016, its chief financial officer said.

Shares of the country's largest life insurer gained 2.6 percent to C$25.01.   Continued...

A TMX Group sign, the company that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), is seen in Toronto, June 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo