TSX up as oil jump boosts energy; Manulife, CP Rail weigh

Thu Aug 4, 2016 5:14pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index notched a gain on Thursday as surging oil prices boosted energy stocks, while poor earnings hurt insurer Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote) and the exit of a major investor weighed on Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO: Quote) stock.

The energy group, which accounts for almost one-fifth of the index's weight, rose 1.2 percent as oil prices rose on short-covering and after a modest drop in stockpiles at a U.S. hub.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 16.73 points, or 0.12 percent, to 14,528.78.

Seven of the index's 10 main groups ended in positive territory, amid a slew of earnings releases.

"There's enough good things happening in those individual earnings reports for the analysts to boost their forward earnings estimates," said John Johnston, chief strategy officer at Davis-Rea.

He said that overall 52-week forward earnings estimates for Canadian stocks had been going up for a few months, which he called a "very constructive sign".

Earnings beats helped engineering company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO: Quote) rise 3.1 percent to C$57.62 and retailer Canadian Tire Corp Ltd CTCa.TO gain 4.4 percent to C$143.04.

BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote) rose 0.9 percent to C$62.39 after Canada's largest telecommunications company notched strong growth in wireless.   Continued...

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