Rise in banks, consumer stocks help TSX eke out 6th gain

Wed Aug 5, 2015 5:19pm EDT
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index eked out a slight gain on Wednesday, as investors bought up bank and consumer stocks, while a slip in prices for oil and other commodities hurt energy companies and miners.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE recorded its sixth straight rise, ending up 11.94 points, or 0.08 percent, at 14,502.99.

"There still seems to be that trend by a number of investors to purchase non-resource common stocks, such as consumer stocks," said Irwin Michael, a portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO: Quote), an acquisitive drugmaker that has risen quickly to become a major force on the index, rose 1.1 percent to C$346.32.

The most influential movers on the index also included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), which rose 0.9 percent to C$77.20, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), which advanced 0.8 percent to C$53.25. The overall financials group climbed 0.5 percent.

Auto parts maker Magna International Inc MG.TO gained 2 percent to C$73.73.

Canada's export sector snapped a five-month losing streak in June, cutting the trade deficit significantly and contributing to a more buoyant tone in the equity market.

"A positive export number means potentially positive GDP data, so that means that maybe the consumer is a little bit better off," said Bryden Teich, associate portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.   Continued...

 
A TMX Group sign, the company that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), is seen in Toronto, June 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch