TSX up after strong energy week, Magna up on demand

Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:15pm EST
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By Ethan Lou

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, helped by gains in some major banks and energy companies and by a jump in shares of auto parts maker Magna International Inc, which reported strong European and North American demand.

Oil CLc1 LCOc1 hit a seven-week high before settling lower as investors took profits at the end of a strong week for the commodity. [O/R]

Canada's energy group gained 0.9 percent, with pipeline company Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) adding 2 percent to C$46.98 and Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO: Quote) up 4.5 percent to C$14.90.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), which had fallen a day earlier after its debt was downgraded by Moody's, rebounded 2.3 percent to C$27.39.

While stubbornly low prices for crude and other petroleum products have hurt Canada's heavyweight energy sector, it also offers stimulative opportunities for the rest of the economy, said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.

"It's cheaper to make things, cheaper to drive your car, you know?" he said. "More consumers have more spending power and so on and so forth."

The consumer groups were higher on the day, with discretionary names gaining 2 percent and staples up 1 percent.

Magna shares jumped 7.3 percent to C$51.62 after reporting a much higher-than-expected quarterly profit as low gasoline prices boosted demand for vehicles in Europe and North America.   Continued...

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