TSX ends up in volatile trade; energy and utilities jump

Tue Jul 7, 2015 5:05pm EDT
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index erased a sharp fall to end in positive territory on Tuesday, with energy stocks rebounding with oil prices and utilities gaining on bets the Bank of Canada could cut rates next week to stimulate a struggling economy.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 30.93 points, or 0.21 percent, at 14,624.50.

It had fallen as low as 14,389.10 as investors fretted over Greece, China and a widening trade deficit.

"With crude oil today, it was approaching $50.50 and now it's at $52.80," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver. "There's an undercurrent of bullishness and big dips will be met with some buying."

Energy stocks gained 1.4 percent after hitting lows not seen since mid-January. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) added 2.3 percent to C$34.95 and pipeline operator Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) rose 2 percent to C$58.67.

Crude prices, which plunged as much as 8 percent on Monday, pared those losses on Tuesday, settling slightly lower. [O/R]

Utilities, typically dividend-focused and therefore sensitive to changes in the interest rate outlook, gained 2.1 percent as investors priced in a more than 50 percent chance Canada's central bank cuts rates next week.

Supporting the view that a rate cut may be imminent, Canada's trade deficit for May widened to its second-largest on record as non-energy exports fell. Lower rates would depress the loonie and thus could bolster exports.   Continued...

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