TSX nudges higher ahead of U.S.-China meeting, jobs data
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed modestly on Thursday, helped by energy and financial stocks, but the market was mostly subdued ahead of a big meeting between the United States and China, and employment data due on Friday.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 54.19 points, or 0.35 percent, to close at 15,697.18. Of the index's 10 main groups, eight were higher.
"Everyone is waiting for Trump's meeting with the Chinese leader, but more importantly, tomorrow's a big day because people are awaiting the employment numbers," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds, referring to the meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping that kicks off on Thursday evening and the release of both Canadian and U.S. jobs data.
"No great shakes - there doesn't appear to be too many movers here. It's just very quiet, very subdued," Michael said.
The most influential stock on the index was Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote), which finished 1.7 percent higher at C$56.60. TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote), which won U.S. approval for the construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline last month, rose 1.0 percent to C$62.66. The overall energy group was up 0.5 percent.
Financial stocks, which make up just over a third of the index's weight, gained 0.3 percent, with Canada's largest bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), adding 0.8 percent to C$97.81, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) up 0.8 percent to C$78.73.
Offsetting gains, was a 0.5 percent fall to C$25.87 by Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote). The Canadian miner announced on Thursday that China's Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd (600547.SS: Quote) will pay $960 million for a 50 percent stake in Barrick's Veladero gold mine in Argentina.