CANADA STOCKS-TSX turns higher as oil shares rise on OPEC decision

Fri Jun 5, 2015 11:05am EDT
 
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TORONTO, June 5 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index turned positive on Friday as oil shares rose on a relief rally after OPEC kept its oil output target unchanged, offsetting concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise interest rates sooner than the market had expected.

Eight of the top 10 biggest positive drivers on the index were either financial or energy shares. In the energy group, up 0.6 percent, Canadian Natural Resources rose 1.3 percent to C$38.19, while Suncor Energy Inc advanced 1.4 percent to C$36.63.

Manulife Financial Corp was among the most influential gainers, rising just over 1 percent to C$23.79, with the overall financial group up 0.5 percent.

Energy stocks gained despite a U.S. dollar rally that pulled down oil prices. On Friday, OPEC kept its oil production target unchanged for another six months, a decision that was widely anticipated and reassured markets.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 28.8 points, or 0.19 percent, at 15,048.19 after falling as much as 73.39 points, or 0.49 percent, to 14,946.

The negative moves earlier came after data showed an acceleration of U.S. job growth and a pickup of wages last month, indicating strength in the economy.

Weakness in some commodity prices, which was spurred in part by a stronger U.S. dollar, weighed on shares in the index's mining-heavy materials sector.

Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said he expects volatility in commodity prices to weigh on the TSX if the U.S. dollar stays robust.

The materials sector pared earlier losses but was still down 0.5 percent. Goldcorp Inc dropped 2.1 percent to C$21.57, and Barrick Gold Corp gave back 1.6 percent to C$14.39.

Dairy-products producer Saputo Inc, which missed quarterly profit expectations on Thursday, was down another 4.8 percent, at C$30.96 after dropping some 4.7 percent in the previous session.

($1=$1.25 Canadian) (Reporting by John Tilak and Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway)