CANADA STOCKS-TSX ekes out record close with Barrick's help

Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:50pm EST
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* TSX up 19.22 points, or 0.12 pct, at 15,864.17

* Six of the TSX's 10 main groups were higher (Updates to close, adds analyst comment, byline)

By Leah Schnurr

OTTAWA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged up on Thursday to notch a fresh record high as Barrick Gold Corp jumped on the company's better-than-expected profits, though a drop in shares of Sun Life helped keep overall gains in check.

Despite firmer oil prices, the energy sector gave up earlier gains to decline 0.2 percent as shares of Enbridge Inc fell 0.9 percent to C$55.43 ahead of the company's earnings after the bell.

Enbridge also won U.S. antitrust approval for a merger with Spectra Energy Corp.

Barrick was the biggest lift on the index, jumping 6.1 percent to C$26.81, the day after the miner announced stronger-than-anticipated profit and a debt reduction plan.

Goldcorp Inc also drove the market higher as lower costs at its gold mines in the Americas helped its quarterly profit beat expectations. Its stock was up 5.9 percent at C$23.11.

The surge in the shares of the two companies gave the materials sector a 0.4 percent lift and sent the gold subindex up 1.8 percent.   Continued...