CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as financials shine

Wed Jun 3, 2015 10:49am EDT
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TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday as financial shares gained, although a slip in crude oil prices hit energy issues.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was trading up 60.23 points, or 0.40 percent, at 15,167.60 in mid-morning trade.

Nine of the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory, with only utilities being lower.

Among the most influential gainers were Royal Bank of Canada , which rose 1 percent to C$79.90, and insurer Manulife Financial Corp, which advanced 1.3 percent to C$23.30.

The overall financials group climbed 0.8 percent.

But the limp recovery of oil after last year's sharp drop will likely cap upside potential for the index, according to Sid Mokhtari, a market technician at CIBC World Markets.

"Canadian banks are reflecting that weakness of the energy sector, which keeps them at best range-bound, if not weaker," said Mokhtari.

He said life insurance companies should do better as they benefit from the higher long-term yields seen coming as the Federal Reserve gets ready to hike U.S. interest rates.

Mokhtari sees support for the index at 14,600 to 14,800, while gains would likely face resistance starting around 15,350.   Continued...