TSX posts three-week high as oil rallies

Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:23pm EDT
 
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index notched its highest close in three weeks on Tuesday as an oil price rally helped energy stocks and a jump in U.S. consumer confidence boosted global markets.

U.S. consumer confidence surged to a more than 16-year high in March amid growing labor market optimism.

"It's indicative that the economy is on a firm footing and so we have most equity markets move higher, including a risk-on market like Canada," said Ben Jang, portfolio manager, Nicola Wealth Management.

Canada's market includes many commodity-related stocks, which benefit from a pick-up in global growth.

"Longer term you see the improving global economy, so a stronger equity market is justifiable," Jang said.

A severe disruption to Libyan oil supplies and comments from officials suggesting the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could extend its production cuts deal to the end of the year boosted oil prices.

U.S. crude prices settled 64 cents higher at $48.37 a barrel, and the energy group climbed more than 2 percent, led by a 2.4 percent gain for Suncor Energy Inc to C$41.42.

Royal Bank of Canada rose more than 1 percent to C$97.82, and the overall financials group gained 0.9 percent as bond yields climbed.   Continued...

 
A Bay Street sign, the main street in the financial district is seen in Toronto, January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch