TSX edges higher as oils gain, banks weigh

Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:35pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed higher for a second straight session on Tuesday as a rebound in the price of oil sent the hefty energy group higher.

But declining financials and materials, two of the index's weightiest sectors, kept the gains in check after the Bank of Canada made its clearest signal yet that it may raise interest rates as soon as June, while the price of gold pared gains.

The energy sector jumped 1.16 percent as oil snapped its three-day decline to rise above $83 a barrel as some European flights resumed after the threat from volcanic ash from Iceland receded.

Shares of Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's largest oil company, rose 0.59 percent to C$34.25, while Husky Energy rose 2.24 percent to C$29.72. Talisman Energy gained 3.96 percent to C$17.33.

"Energy stocks are one of the strong sectors today, largely because crude oil has jumped up $2. The markets are also taking their cue from the U.S.," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities.

Stunningly strong earnings from Goldman Sachs on Tuesday were added to the list of U.S. companies making forecast-beating results. But worries about the bank's U.S. fraud case still weighed as Britain's market watchdog launched its own probe.

Picardo said U.S. earnings reports so far have generally exceeded estimates and Canadian investors are gearing up for similar results from domestic businesses.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended 10.56 points, or 0.09 percent, higher at 12,113.53. Six of the index's 10 main groups were higher.   Continued...