TSX rises as consumer, banks stocks jump after Fed

Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:11pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday as consumer and bank stocks bounced and equity investors broadly cheered a more cautious tone on U.S. interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

"The whole market is basically on a rise because of her (Fed Chair Janet Yellen's) comments about low (interest rates) for longer," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

Yellen on Tuesday said the U.S. central bank should proceed cautiously, pushing back on a handful of her colleagues who have suggested another rate hike may be just around the corner.

"It's a psychological boost, but at the end of the day you still need to have good earnings," Nakamoto said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session up 106.67 points, or 0.79 percent, at 13,532.90.

It is on track to notch a 5 percent gain in March, its biggest monthly move higher since October 2011.

The heavyweight financials group gained 0.8 percent while consumer staples rose 1.4 percent and consumer discretionary stocks added 1 percent.

Among the most influential movers on the index was Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), which rose 0.9 percent to C$75.44, and discount retailer Dollarama (DOL.TO: Quote), which surged 7.5 percent to C$88.91 after reporting a 25 percent jump in profit and hiking its dividend.   Continued...

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