CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances after Fed keeps interest rates steady

Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:06pm EDT
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TORONTO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged as global economic uncertainty and a recent spike in market volatility kept the U.S. central bank from pulling the trigger.

Questions about China's economic growth resulted in several market swings in the past few weeks, with equities, commodities and currencies making dramatic moves.

After a wild ride of its own, the benchmark TSX index is down about 6 percent since the start of the year.

While the Fed did not rule out a potential rate increase later this year, its current decision was influenced by global macroeconomic risks and concerns about inflationary pressure.

"The Fed seems to have pulled off yet another balancing act," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"The surge in volatility may have rightfully put the Fed's plans on hold," he said. "They did what the market was probably suspecting."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 94.98 points, or 0.69 percent, at 13,810.81. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

The energy sector jumped 2 percent, shrugging off declines in the price of Brent crude oil. Suncor Energy Inc advanced 1.4 percent to C$35.29, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd added 0.5 percent to C$28.13.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave back 0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada lost 0.6 percent to C$74.02, and Manulife Financial Corp declined 1.8 percent to C$20.68. (Reporting by John Tilak and Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Meredith Mazzilli and Diane Craft)