TSX adds to winning streak, sets record high

Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:34pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index rose for the seventh straight day on Wednesday to a record high close, led by gains for its financial services group after strong economic data from both Canada and the United States.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 58.92 points, or 0.37 percent, at 15,844.95, a record close.

"People are trying to run with the herd and I guess the big danger is that when you run with the herd you might get trampled at some point," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung Investment Management.

The index has rallied more than 37 percent since hitting a three-year trough in January last year.

"One's got to be very conscious of valuation and what they're paying for securities," Sprung said.

Data showed Canada's manufacturing sales jumped in December for the second month in a row, and that U.S. inflation and retail sales climbed in January, helping to push bond yields higher.

Higher bond yields, which reduce the value of insurance companies' liabilities and increase banks' net interest margins, have helped underpin financials since the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8, with the sector up more than 14 percent in that time.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rose 1.1 percent to C$98.53, while the overall financials group climbed 0.8 percent.   Continued...

Passersby watch the performance of stocks on a financial news television screen in the business district of Toronto, Canada, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren