TSX notches 1-week high as oil rallies, Yellen signals hike

Fri Mar 3, 2017 4:51pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday to its highest close in a week as oil prices gained and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen pointed to a U.S. interest rate hike this month, while investors embraced recent strengthening of the Canadian economy.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE hit a three-week low on Tuesday but recovered to end the week 0.5 percent higher as some of the country's major banks and energy companies reported stronger-than-expected earnings.

"You are seeing (growth) on the earnings side at the corporate level but you are also seeing it on the economy side as well," said Bryden Teich, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.

"You are having underlying stronger economic growth in Canada and I think that's helped the market."

Data on Thursday showed Canada's economy grew at a 2.6 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter, faster than economists had expected.

The TSX closed up 71.85 points, or 0.46 percent, at 15,608.50, its highest close since Feb. 23.

Last week the TSX reached a record high of 15,943.09. It has gained 2.1 percent this year after climbing 17.5 percent in 2016.

The most influential movers on the day included Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote), which added 3.2 percent to C$41.81, extending Thursday's sharp jump after posting stronger-than-expected earnings.   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