TSX hits 2016 high as resource stocks power on

Wed Mar 2, 2016 5:08pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose for a fifth straight session on Wednesday, hitting its highest point this year as gains for materials and energy stocks offset losses for financial and consumer names and railways.

Oil was steady, gold rebounded and several industrial metals also benefited from a "risk-on" attitude in financial markets that swept global shares and bond yields higher.

"You're seeing some of the big risk factors dissipate, crude oil come back, the Chinese markets stabilize," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"It helps the TSX because it's so leveraged to global growth expectations," he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 35.83 points, or 0.28 percent, at 13,017.93. It was last above 13,000 on the last day of 2015.

Energy stocks gained 2.1 percent and the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, surged 3.4 percent, while six of the index's 10 main groups fell.

Picardo said the index is approaching fair value as it tries to break above its 100-day moving average around 13,000.

"Does it pull back? Does it go further up from here? It's one of those inflection points that's a little hard to call," he said, suggesting further gains in oil and other commodity prices would be needed to keep resource stocks rising.   Continued...

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch