TSX rises to a four-month high as oil rally boosts energy, financials

Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:22pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose to a four-month high on Thursday as higher oil prices supported energy stocks, while the financial and industrial sectors also gained.

The move followed the U.S. Federal Reserve's scaling back of its expectation of how many rate hikes it could implement this year, which weighed on the U.S. currency and boosted risk appetite.

The index closed above its 200-day moving average and has rebounded 18 percent since hitting an almost 3-1/2-year low in January, supported by a recovery in crude oil prices and stabilization in global financial markets.

"It's quite significant from a technical point of view," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"Given the strength of the global economy there is going to be doubts about the sustainability, but I got to say on current form it looks quite good," he added.

The most influential gainers on the index included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), which rose 1.7 percent to C$75.86, and TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote), which advanced 2.6 percent to C$49.42.

The energy group climbed 1.8 percent, while financials gained 1.6 percent.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $40.20 a barrel, up 4.52 percent.[O/R]   Continued...

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