TSX rises for fourth straight day as financials, materials gain

Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:23pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose for the fourth straight day on Tuesday, clawing back much of its losses after the Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates, as gains for financials and materials offset losses for defensive sectors.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 23.11 points, or 0.15 percent, at 15,292.96.

The index has climbed 17.5 percent this year, with an agreement by major oil producers to cut output and the prospect of U.S. economic stimulus giving the rally some recent additional momentum.

"There are probably some significant (investor) accounts out there who are under-owned in equities and are looking for opportunities... buying where they feel there is a further move to be had," said Peggy Bowie, senior trader at Manulife Asset Management.

One sector in which investors are underinvested is financials, Bowie said.

"They see that (sector) as moving up significantly over the next year, both in Canada and in the United States."

The financials group rose 0.4 percent, led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FFH.TO: Quote), which rebounded nearly 5 percent to C$635.00 after falling 1.5 percent on Monday.

The insurance company said on Sunday it has agreed to buy Swiss insurer Allied World Assurance Company Holdings AG (AWH.N: Quote) for $4.9 billion in cash and stock.   Continued...

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