TSX rallies for fifth day as energy stocks surge

Thu Oct 8, 2015 5:05pm EDT
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By Leah Schnurr

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index extended its rally to a fifth consecutive day on Thursday, lifted by solid gains in energy shares as oil prices hit a three-month high.

Momentum on Bay Street picked up in the afternoon, helped by minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve that showed the central bank thought the economy was close to warranting an interest rate hike in September but policymakers decided to wait.

But energy stocks provided the biggest lift, with the sector .SPTTEN up 3.4 percent as the price of oil was lifted by a forecast that prices would climb to $75 a barrel over the next two years.

Crude prices CLc1 settled up $1.62 at $49.43 a barrel. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) pulled the most weight on the positive side, climbing 4.8 percent to C$37.16, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) rose 3 percent to C$32.17.

"Oil's up, and the momentum's definitely being generated by the oil sector," said Allan Small, a senior investment advisor at HollisWealth.

"The market over the last bunch of weeks now seems to be moving in lock-step with the oil markets."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 110.31 points, or 0.8 percent, at 13,978.66. It was the longest back-to-back winning streak the index has seen since late July into early August. Of the index's 10 main groups, six sectors rose.

The heavily weighted financial stocks were up moderately, led by Brookfield Asset Management's (BAMa.TO: Quote) 0.8 percent gain to C$43.05. Financials have gained more than 4 percent in the last four sessions.   Continued...

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