TSX scores biggest gain in two months as financials rally

Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:10pm EDT
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index scored its biggest gain in two months on Thursday, led by shares of financial and energy stocks as oil rose and investors reduced bets on a Federal Reserve interest rate hike.

Weak U.S. retail sales data undermined the argument that the Fed, the U.S. central bank, will raise interest rates next week, helping to send global equity prices higher.

Still, the U.S. economic outlook remains positive.

"Fundamentally I think the U.S. is in good shape and I think that the markets have been telling you this," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.

Some of the most influential movers on the index were financial stocks.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) advanced nearly 1 percent to C$57.55 after selling home improvement financing assets with a book value of about C$339 million.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rose 1.6 percent to C$81.36 and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote) gained 2.3 percent to C$18.17, while the overall financials group was up 1.3 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 137.21 points at 14,503.67. Its 0.96 percent gain was the largest since July 4.   Continued...

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