TSX edges higher, led by banks and fertilizer stocks

Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:09pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged slightly higher on Tuesday as bank and fertilizer stocks rallied, but gains for the index were mostly pared as lower gold prices weighed on mining stocks.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index has rebounded 27 percent after hitting a three-year low in January. But the rally has stalled since earlier this month, when the index touched its highest in more than a year.

In the absence of a fresh catalyst, stock markets, including the TSX, are going to "trend sideways," said Jay Bala, senior portfolio manager at AIP Asset Management Inc., who favors investment strategies whose returns are not dependent on the direction of the overall market.

Catalysts could include a U.S. interest rate hike which would add to market volatility in the short-term, but be better for stocks over the long-term, Bala added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 2.88 points, or 0.02 percent, at 14,684.85.

Five of the index's 10 main groups ended higher.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) was among the biggest gainers, with the country's third-biggest lender up 1.6 percent at C$69.93 after reporting earnings above expectations even as it reins in domestic mortgage lending.

The financials group was up 0.7 percent overall, as Scotia's earnings rounded out a robust earnings season for banks.   Continued...

A sign displaying TSX information is seen in Toronto November 20, 2008.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch