CANADA STOCKS-Energy shares pull TSX higher as Gulf storm lifts oil

Fri Oct 4, 2013 5:03pm EDT
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* TSX rises 23.53 points, or 0.18 percent, to 12,758.65
    * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Suncor is biggest positive influence on index
    * Air Canada jumps after strong third-quarter traffic

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on
Friday as energy shares gained with the price of oil after
Tropical Storm Karen disrupted U.S. production in the Gulf of
Mexico, but the benchmark Toronto index ended the week lower. 
    As the storm moved through the Gulf, the price of oil rose
on supply concerns. That took some of the
attention away from the U.S. government shutdown, which had
consumed the market all week.
    With the shutdown dragging into a fourth day, investors
watched closely as Republican members of the House of
Representatives held their ground in a standoff with President
Barack Obama. 
    But the market appeared to shrug off fears that U.S.
lawmakers will fail to resolve the budget crisis and prevent a
debt default.
    "There's a certain amount of fatigue from several days of
losing trade," said John Stephenson, senior vice president at
First Asset Investment Management Inc, adding that investors
expect a resolution soon. 
    "Today the story is all about energy," he said. "Investors
are looking around and saying energy looks attractive." 
    Investors are starting to see value in Canadian energy
stocks because of consistently performing large-cap names,
attractive valuations, and a world that's becoming more
energy-dependent, Stephenson said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 23.53 points, or 0.18 percent, at 12,758.65.
    Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH
Investments, said the TSX will tread water until the U.S.
political stalemate is resolved but will make gains as the
economy improves and commodity prices stabilize.
    "Everyone is sitting on their hands, waiting for Washington
to make their move," he said. "They'll have their bickering and
fighting, but ultimately they'll come to an agreement."
    Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Energy companies climbed, with Suncor Energy Inc 
adding 1.2 percent to C$36.69, playing the biggest role of any
single stock in leading the index higher. Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd rose 1.3 percent to C$32.18.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
advanced 0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.5
percent to C$66.29, and Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 0.1
percent at C$91.28.
    Air Canada jumped about 13 percent to C$4.49 after
it reported strong third-quarter traffic and said measures it
has taken to control costs were having a better-than-expected