CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher, lifted by energy stocks as oil rises

Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:44am EST
 
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By Allison Martell

TORONTO Dec 29 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Monday, boosted by energy stocks as crude prices found support in concerns about output disruptions in Libya.

Oil has plunged in recent months amid a supply glut, but it rose on Monday as a Libyan oil official said the OPEC member is producing only 128,000 barrels a day, a fraction of what it produced before the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

But looking further out, Norman Levine, managing director at Portfolio Management Corp, saw more headwinds for energy stocks.

"The price of oil is up," he said. "There are worries about supply issues from Libya, but really we're just in, as far as I'm concerned, free fall in oil until the Saudis decide they want to stop pushing prices down."

Levine also noted that Canadian energy stocks jumped after Spain's Repsol said it would buy Talisman Energy Inc on Dec. 16, and he said they have not fallen in proportion with oil prices since then.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 80.97 points, or 0.55 percent, at 14,690.22.

Suncor Energy Inc played the biggest role in lifting the index, rising 2.2 percent to C$38.12. Enbridge Inc rose 1.2 percent to C$59.54. Overall, the energy sector rose 1.5 percent, while financial stocks edged up 0.3 percent.

The materials sector rose 1.0 percent, boosted in part by shares of gold miners. Spot gold fell on Monday, but had jumped on Friday when Canadian equity markets were closed for the Boxing Day holiday.

Goldcorp Inc rose 1.85 percent to C$20.95, while rival Barrick Gold Corp was up 1.8 percent at C$12.23. (Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)