TSX ends barely higher, industrial stocks led gains

Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:41pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Wednesday for the fifth consecutive session, helped by industrial stocks such as construction company SNC-Lavalin, which jumped after winning an oil sands service contract.

SNC-Lavalin rose 2.5 percent to C$58.55. It said a subsidiary was part of a joint venture that won a five-year deal to supply engineering and procurement services to an unidentified "prominent integrated oil company" in Alberta's Athabasca region.

The industrial sector gained 0.6 percent overall, with Waste Connections Inc up 2.1 percent at C$105.89 and Canadian National Railway Co adding 0.5 percent to C$91.16.

"On the industrial theme, recent economic data in U.S. has supported that idea that the economy is picking up some steam," said Manash Goswami, portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management Inc.

"We've become a bit more constructive of late and have added a little more cyclical exposure than we've had in the past," he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended the day up 12.93 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,305.89.

Six of the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory, while advancers outnumbered decliners by a 1.3-to-1 ratio.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd advanced 4.9 percent to C$666, while the broader financial sector barely gained.   Continued...

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