TSX rises as commodities rally; ends 1 percent lower for week

Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:07pm EDT
 
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Friday as commodities rallied and global worries about Britain voting to leave the European Union next week abated.

Still, the index fell 1 percent for the week and has pulled back 3.8 percent from a recent 10-month peak as markets became jittery ahead of Britain's referendum.

Reasonable earnings, economic recovery and low interest rates are supportive of stocks, but lack of clarity about the outcome of the referendum and related volatility may restrain investors near-term, said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

"People don't want to hold anything that could have some speculation or risk to it," he said.

Canada's currency will weaken and the chances its central bank cuts interest rates would jump if Britain votes next week to leave the European Union, strategists warn, noting the result could hit global growth and spell bad news for commodity-exporting countries.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 19.36 points, or 0.14 percent, at 13,901.77. But just four of the index's 10 main groups ended higher.

The most influential sector by far was energy, which rallied 1.4 percent. It was led by a 1.6 percent advance in the shares of Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) to C$37.79, while Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) climbed 0.9 percent to C$34.34.

Suncor has launched an auction of its Petro-Canada lubricants division, people familiar with the matter said.   Continued...

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