TSX clings to modest gain as consumer-related stocks rise

Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:54pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock edged higher on Friday, led by consumer-related stocks, while U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline gave TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote) a boost before some gains were pared.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 9.06 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,442.67.

It was the second straight day of gains for the index after Canada's government on Wednesday held off from raising taxes on investors in its budget.

Modest gains for the TSX on Friday came as stocks on Wall Street pared losses after Republicans pulled their bill to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.

Still, the index dipped 0.3 percent for the week. It hit on Wednesday a three-month low intraday at 15,241.55.

"There is further near term downside to come," said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management Inc.

He expects a downturn in copper and oil to weigh on the commodity heavy TSX through June.

Together, the energy and materials groups account for more than 30 percent of the index's weight.   Continued...

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