TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose 1.2 percent on Thursday as positive U.S. data reinforced the Federal Reserve’s confidence in the economy and the energy sector climbed with the price of U.S. crude oil.
Latest labor-market figures showed strength in the U.S. economy, with the number of jobless claims falling last week and job cuts declining for a second straight month in December.
Minutes from a recent policy meeting indicated that Fed members debated how to communicate plans to eventually begin raising interest rates later this year.
The Toronto equity market rebounded for a second straight session, following sharp selloffs on concerns about a global crude supply glut that took down oil prices.
“It’s an oversold bounce,” said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management.
“I’m significantly underweight energy-related stocks. It’s a high-risk trade, in my view,” he added. “Oil is going to take its own sweet time to come back.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 172.72 points, or 1.21 percent, at 14,457.72. All 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Financials advanced 0.6 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia rising 0.8 percent to C$64.18 and Toronto Dominion Bank gaining 0.6 percent to C$53.23.
Shares of energy producers climbed 1.6 percent, helped by higher U.S. crude oil prices. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was up 2.9 percent to C$33.10 and Suncor Energy Inc added 2 percent to C$35.98.
In corporate news, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc raised its 2015 guidance for adjusted profit more than expected as the drugmaker sees growth from existing products and a stream of small acquisitions. The stock jumped 6.2 percent to C$182.28.
Editing by James Dalgleish