Energy gains push TSX to highest close in over a year

Mon Aug 8, 2016 4:46pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index notched its highest close in more than a year on Monday as energy stocks jumped with rising oil prices amid improved risk sentiment and on speculation that OPEC would seek to restrain output.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 106.85 points, or 0.73 percent, at 14,755.62, its strongest finish since June 26, 2015.

It got as high as 14,783.16 in intra-day trade.

The most influential gainers included its biggest energy companies, with Suncor Energy Inc up 1.7 percent to C$35.64 and Canadian Natural Resources adding 1.4 percent to C$41.17.

The energy group, which accounts for almost one-fifth of the index's weight, gained 2 percent while oil prices jumped more than 2 percent as some OPEC members reportedly sought to restrain output. Analysts warned, however, that the bearish fundamentals that had brought prices to four-month lows last week still lurked.

"It wouldn't surprise me to see oil prices fall back tomorrow," said Allan Small, a senior investment advisor at HollisWealth, who said the Canadian market would likely lag its U.S. counterparts through the remainder of 2016.

The TSX's rise tracked other global stock markets as risk appetite revived following strong U.S. job figures on Friday that bolstered expectations of faster growth in the world's biggest economy.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.1 percent.   Continued...

An electronic board displays the midday TSX index in Toronto February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch