CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs as oil prices lift energy shares

Wed Feb 5, 2014 4:54pm EST
 
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* TSX rises 55.21 points, or 0.41 percent, to 13,559.69
    * Six of 10 main index sectors advance
    * RBC has market's biggest positive influence
    * TMX Group, Intact slip after quarterly reports

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Wednesday as higher oil prices helped boost shares
of energy producers and positive sentiment prevailed after
several days of choppy trading. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index, which gained
9.6 percent last year, has shed more than 400 points in the last
two weeks.
    The market shrugged off data released by payrolls processor
ADP showing that hiring by U.S. private employers in January was
the weakest since August, with cold weather having an impact.
 
    While worries about growth and stability in emerging
markets, including concerns about the Chinese economy, stayed on
the menu, investors started to brace themselves for the U.S.
nonfarm payrolls report due on Friday.
    "The market will be moving from those (emerging-market)
concerns to new concerns," said Michael Sprung, president of
Sprung Investment Management. "People are anxiously awaiting the
employment numbers on Friday.
    "We shouldn't be surprised if there are more setbacks here,"
he added. "This is going to be a much more volatile year than
last year."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 55.21 points, or 0.41 percent, at 13,559.69.
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Wednesday.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed 1 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's
biggest lender, advanced 1.5 percent to C$69.08 and had the
biggest positive influence on the market.
    Energy shares added 1 percent, reflecting gains in Brent and
U.S. crude oil prices. Suncor Energy Inc rose 0.6
percent to C$35.21, and Encana Corp jumped nearly 2
percent to C$20.83. 
    But the telecoms group gave back 1.3 percent. Telus Corp
 dropped 1.8 percent to C$37.05, and Rogers Communications
 shed 1.1 percent to C$44.96.
    In corporate news, TMX Group Ltd, owner of the
Toronto Stock Exchange, reported a fourth-quarter profit that
topped market expectations. Its shares slipped 1 percent to
C$9.37. 
    Intact Financial Corp reported a
larger-than-expected drop in fourth-quarter profit as a winter
ice storm hurt underwriting results. The stock was down 1.1
percent at C$66.75.