CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on Fed hopes, energy gains
* TSX rises 64.89 points, or 0.45 percent, to 14,590.08 * Nine of the 10 main index sectors advance * Sears Canada steady after reporting results By John Tilak TORONTO, May 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced on Wednesday, boosted by expectations that minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting will show it remains committed to stimulating the U.S. economy and by a rise in oil prices that lifted shares of energy producers. The U.S. central bank was set to release the minutes later in the day, and the market was optimistic that they would reaffirm the Fed's stimulative policy direction and shed light on when a rise in interest rates might be expected. The Toronto stock market's benchmark index climbed for a second straight session and is up more than 7 percent this year. "The market is looking for more dovish comments from the Federal Reserve meeting," said Stan Wong, director of wealth management and portfolio manager at ScotiaMcLeod. "Despite the continued liquidity in the market and very low interest rates, valuations, geopolitical pressures and economic uncertainty outside of North America have kept the bull market from advancing in a major way so far this year," he said, adding that a pullback could be imminent. "Investors are viewing the market as a toddler who is tired but doesn't want to fall asleep," Wong said. "So we're looking at a correction, but it really hasn't happened." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 64.89 points, or 0.45 percent, at 14,590.08. The Canadian benchmark could benefit from improving economic data in the second half of the year and a stronger performance by the financial sector, Wong said. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Wednesday. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose 0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada climbed 0.7 percent to C$73.94, and Bank of Montreal was up 0.5 percent at C$74.89. Shares of energy companies advanced 0.7 percent, supported by a gain in the price of oil. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd added 1 percent to C$43.79, and Enbridge Inc jumped 1.2 percent to C$52.70. In corporate news, Sears Canada Inc posted a bigger quarterly loss as a prolonged winter hurt sales. The stock was little changed. ($1=$1.09 Canadian) (With reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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