TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday as investors speculated about global central bank moves and as gold-mining shares climbed with the price of bullion.
The market also analyzed earnings statements from several of the country’s major energy players, including Enbridge Inc ENB.TO and Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO, as well as a bullish report from auto parts maker Magna International Inc MG.TO.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 18.70 points, or 0.14 percent, at 13,380.41.
The index has jumped nearly 5 percent in the past month, and six of its 10 major index sectors were higher on Wednesday.
Market focus was on whether the European Central Bank will cut interest rates this week, while anticipation grew that the U.S. Federal Reserve again will put off plans to scale back its monetary stimulus program.
Top Fed officials have been saying in recent days the U.S. central bank should not make changes to the program until there’s more evidence to suggest that the world’s biggest economy is on a firmer footing.
“The Fed is in a conundrum, given that they need stronger economic growth to reduce their easing,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner Investment Partners, a unit of Richardson GMP. “Some of the economic data lately has been maybe a bit disappointing.”
“In the short term, there could be some volatility,” he added. “But in the medium term, there’s more value in Canada than in the United States.”
Valuations for natural resource stocks on the Toronto market are starting to become more appealing, Zohny said. “But it’s going to require patience, given that we need a strong catalyst on the economic front.”
Gold-mining stocks jumped 1.3 percent, helped by a gain in the price of bullion. <GOL/> In the group, Goldcorp Inc G.TO rose 1.1 percent to C$26.25.
Financial shares climbed 0.4 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO adding 0.3 percent to C$95.96.
Magna reported a nearly 13 percent rise in quarterly sales as its European business strengthened. The stock gained 1.4 percent to C$90.19.
Enbridge advanced 1.7 percent to C$46.56, after the pipeline company reported higher third-quarter earnings, with increased volumes on its crude pipelines offsetting higher costs.
Oil and gas producer Talisman, which reported a smaller quarterly net loss compared with the year-earlier quarter, said it has no immediate plans to split itself in two despite pressure from activist shareholders. The stock shed 2.7 percent to C$12.48.
Penn West Petroleum Ltd PWT.TO lost about 16 percent of its value after the oil producer said it aimed to sell up to $2 billion of assets before 2015 as part of a plan to focus on projects centered on its Cardium field in Alberta.
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; and Peter Galloway