TSX gains as energy rebound offsets mining weakness

Wed Aug 3, 2016 5:04pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index gained on Wednesday as shares in energy companies benefited from a rebound in oil prices, offsetting losses among gold miners and other materials stocks.

Oil prices jumped more than 3 percent after a surprisingly strong drawdown in gasoline stockpiles, pushing the U.S. benchmark CLc1 back above $40 a barrel after falling from $50 in late June.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session up 35.04 points, or 0.24 percent, at 14,512.05.

Its energy group, a major component, climbed 2.2 percent.

"We think it's the shorts that are driving the (oil) market lower," said Philip Petursson, chief investment strategist at Manulife Investments, referring to speculative bets that oil prices will fall. "Equity investors are looking through that to perhaps rising oil prices through the end of this year."

Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) gained 1.5 percent to C$34.56 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) rose 1.7 percent to C$39.43.

Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO: Quote) advanced 6.9 percent to C$16.24. The company said it had reached agreement with China's CNOOC (0883.HK: Quote) over a gas project.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1 percent as the price of bullion XAU= fell from a three-week high hit in the previous session.   Continued...

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