TSX rally pushes on with aid of banks, miners

Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:47pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index notched its fourth straight day of gains on Friday, with the heavily weighted financials and materials sectors leading the way as investors sought value after a bleak couple of months.

The index had slipped below 14,000 for the first time since mid-January last week, as investors fretted about slumping oil prices and slowing Chinese demand for commodities.

It fell 0.6 percent in July, after a 3 percent decline in June.

But banking stocks shook off those fears, coupled with short bets that a stretched housing market could hurt them, gaining 0.4 percent.

"The whole 'shorting Canada' is usually a short-term phenomena, because let's face it, our financial sector has been a great place to be invested over the long term," said Julie Brough, vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rose 0.7 percent to C$76.27, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) gained 0.9 percent to C$93.36.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE added 3.3 percent on the week, closing up 85.66 points, or 0.60 percent, at 14,468.44.

The rise came despite losses in oil and gas stocks, which were hurt by a drop in crude prices after output numbers showed OPEC producers were pumping near record levels into an already oversupplied market. [O/R]   Continued...

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