TSX rises to a five-month high as oil losses pared

Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:12pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose to a five-month high on Monday as energy stocks rallied after oil pared losses, while mining and financial sector stocks also advanced.

The index has rebounded 19 percent since hitting a near 3-1/2-year low in January.

U.S. corporate earnings have not been as bad as feared, while recent improvement in economic data has left investors more optimistic about the earnings outlook, said Kevin Headland, director of the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.

"We think the back half of the year is going to be much better, at least in terms of an earnings perspective," he added.

Oil prices slid after major oil producers failed to reach agreement on a plan to freeze output at a meeting in Doha, but a Kuwaiti oil industry strike helped the market to settle way above the day's lows.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $39.78 a barrel, down 1.44 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 82.62 points, or 0.61 percent, at 13,719.82. It touched its highest since Nov. 4 at 13,730.59.

The most influential movers in the index included Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote), which rose 2.4 percent to C$37.57, and Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote), which advanced 1.9 percent to C$52.97.   Continued...

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