CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits record-high close on U.S. data, Fed comment

Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:54pm EDT
 
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* TSX up 78.27 points, or 0.51 percent, at 15,524.82
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Cenovus, MEG jump after reporting results
    * Penn West tumbles on news of financial restatement

    By Leah Schnurr and John Tilak
    TORONTO, July 30 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index had
its highest close on record on Wednesday, boosted by positive
U.S. economic data and the Federal Reserve's commentary on the
outlook for monetary policy.
    The U.S. central bank, which indicated that it was in no
hurry to raise interest rates, cut its monthly asset purchases
and looked on track to shutter the program this fall. The Fed
also noted that it is paying attention to a decline in the
jobless rate. 
    The U.S. economy bounced back in the second quarter with
growth of 4 percent, recovering from a decline in the first
three months of the year. 
    While Canadian economic growth has been lackluster, a
stronger recovery in the United States, its biggest trading
partner, is seen as ultimately benefiting Canada.
    The day's gains saw the index notch another record, adding
to a recent string of highs that have seen Toronto stocks rise
more than 13 percent in the year so far.
    "The broader macro theme - a stronger U.S. economy through
the first half of the year - is very supportive, together with a
very patient Fed that's still got its eye on slack in the labor
market," said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action
Economics.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 78.27 points, or 0.51 percent, at 15,524.82.
Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Cenovus Energy Inc was among the stock index's most
influential gainers, rising 2.4 percent after the independent
oil producer said its second-quarter profit was helped by
increased production at an oil sands project. The stock was up
at C$33.61. 
    Among other companies reporting quarterly results, MEG
Energy Corp swung to a profit from a year-ago loss and
raised its annual production forecast. MEG's shares were up 3.3
percent at C$38.98. 
    Those moves helped the broader energy sector add 0.5
percent.
    Thomson Reuters  gained 3.3 percent to
C$41.42 after it reported higher revenue and profit.
 
    On the downside, Penn West Petroleum was the
biggest laggard, tumbling nearly 14 percent after the company
said it would have to restate some of its financial results. The
stock was down at C$8.57. 

 (Editing by Bernadette Baum and James Dalgleish)