CANADA STOCKS-TSX index climbs on U.S. data, firmer oil prices

Wed Jan 7, 2015 5:03pm EST
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* TSX ends up 38.23 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,285

* Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance

* Oil stocks drop despite pause in crude selloff (Adds strategist's comment and updates with closing prices)

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced moderately on Wednesday, helped by positive U.S. economic data and a pause in the rout of crude prices, which lifted market sentiment if not the shares of oil companies.

The rebound came after two straight sessions of sharp index declines with oil and gas shares getting hit by concerns about a global supply glut.

Crude snapped its four-day losing streak on Wednesday, but oil shares kept falling. Among them, Canadian Natural Resources lost 2 percent to C$32.18, and Canadian Oil Sands gave up 5.6 percent to C$7.99.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 38.23 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,285. Eight of the index's 10 main sectors gained.

Investors are anxious about sustainability of dividends from the oil patch if crude stays stuck in the current $50 range, said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.   Continued...