TSX ends lower despite surge in energy shares

Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:21pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - A sharp jump in energy stocks as crude oil prices soared was not enough to push Canada's main stock index into positive territory on Monday.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 5.95 points, or 0.04 percent, at 13,859.12.

Slightly more issuers gained than declined, with oil and gas stocks claiming 18 of the top 20 spots among most influential gainers, while eight of the 10 main sectors retreated.

Oil prices surged for a third consecutive day on a downward revision of U.S. crude production data and OPEC's readiness to talk with other producers, pushing the sector up 3 percent.

"The fact that OPEC is going to get together and come up with a fair value for oil gave some boost to the market," said Sid Mokhtari, director for institutional equity research at CIBC World Markets.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) gained 2.9 percent to C$29.65, Crescent Point (CPG.TO: Quote) surged 10.1 percent to C$16.88, and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) added 1.2 percent to C$37.26.

Mokhtari said Canada's energy sector could gain another 7 to 9 percent in the next month as short sellers are forced to square their books, helping bring the index back up to around 14,200.

"If we can see stability in the energy complex, we're naturally going to get stability in the banks as well," he said.   Continued...

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