CANADA STOCKS-TSX nears six-year high as Suncor shares, oil prices gain

Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:19pm EDT
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* TSX rises 52.20 points, or 0.36 percent, to 14,583.11
    * Five of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Cameco slips after reporting quarterly results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 29 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on Tuesday to its strongest level in almost six years as
robust results from Suncor Energy Inc boosted shares of
the oil producer and higher oil prices lifted other energy
    Suncor's stock hit its highest since 2011 after the company
reported late on Monday a 36 percent rise in first-quarter
profit on strong oil prices and a lower Canadian dollar.
    A jump in shares of Encana Corp after the natural
gas producer announced an asset sale further supported the
    Investors also awaited the outcome of a two-day policymaking
meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve to look for clues on the
direction of its monetary policy. The central bank is expected
to continue paring its bond buying and possibly provide guidance
on when it may raise interest rates. 
    The Canadian benchmark is up about 7 percent this year and
has outperformed the S&P 500 so far in 2014. 
    "The index has come a long way. It is making up for lost
ground after three years of underperformance," said Elvis
Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global
Securities in Vancouver.
    "The fact that this rally is being driven by earnings is a
good thing," he added. "But I wouldn't be surprised to see some
signs of sideways action from here on." 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 52.20 points, or 0.36 percent, at 14,583.11.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers are up about 17 percent since the
start of the year, helping push up the broader market. The
sector climbed 1.6 percent on Tuesday, reflecting gains in the
price of oil. 
    Suncor Energy Inc jumped 3.1 percent to C$42.60 and
had the biggest positive influence on the market.
    "It proves that the optimism surrounding the energy group
has been justified," Picardo said of Suncor's results. "It's yet
another positive day for the group."
    Other gainers included Enbridge Inc, which added
0.5 percent to C$52.77.
    Encana advanced 2.5 percent to C$25.68 after saying it had
agreed to sell about 90,000 net acres in east Texas for about
$530 million to an undisclosed buyer. 
    In other corporate news, Cameco Corp gave back 3.6
percent, to C$23.27, after the uranium producer reported
quarterly results that missed market expectations.

 (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Meredith Mazzilli)