CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on Fed hopes, energy gains

Wed May 21, 2014 11:21am EDT
 
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* TSX rises 64.89 points, or 0.45 percent, to 14,590.08
    * Nine of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Sears Canada steady after reporting results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Wednesday, boosted by expectations that minutes from
the Federal Reserve's latest meeting will show it remains
committed to stimulating the U.S. economy and by a rise in oil
prices that lifted shares of energy producers.
    The U.S. central bank was set to release the minutes later
in the day, and the market was optimistic that they would
reaffirm the Fed's stimulative policy direction and shed light
on when a rise in interest rates might be expected.
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index climbed for a
second straight session and is up more than 7 percent this year.
     "The market is looking for more dovish comments from the
Federal Reserve meeting," said Stan Wong, director of wealth
management and portfolio manager at ScotiaMcLeod. 
    "Despite the continued liquidity in the market and very low
interest rates, valuations, geopolitical pressures and economic
uncertainty outside of North America have kept the bull market
from advancing in a major way so far this year," he said, adding
that a pullback could be imminent. 
    "Investors are viewing the market as a toddler who is tired
but doesn't want to fall asleep," Wong said. "So we're looking
at a correction, but it really hasn't happened."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 64.89 points, or 0.45 percent, at 14,590.08.
    The Canadian benchmark could benefit from improving economic
data in the second half of the year and a stronger performance
by the financial sector, Wong said.
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Wednesday.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada climbed 0.7 percent to
C$73.94, and Bank of Montreal was up 0.5 percent at
C$74.89.
    Shares of energy companies advanced 0.7 percent, supported
by a gain in the price of oil. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
 added 1 percent to C$43.79, and Enbridge Inc 
jumped 1.2 percent to C$52.70.
    In corporate news, Sears Canada Inc posted a bigger
quarterly loss as a prolonged winter hurt sales. The stock was
little changed. 
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (With reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)