TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose broadly on Thursday, reversing a retreat in early trading as resource stocks turned positive, but energy companies posted another round of heavy declines as crude prices sank.
The heavily weighted materials group, home to mining and other resource companies, finished 1.7 percent higher after rebounding from early losses. The sector has remained rangebound for much of the last two months, however.
“There’s so much volatility in these sectors. Everyday is a good news/bad news day and as a result you get these wiggling around in prices without much overall direction,” said Julie Brough, vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates.
Potash Corp POT.TO was among the most influential gainers, rising 2.5 percent to C$39.66. A number of gold miners also performed well, including Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (AEM.TO), which rose 3.2 percent to close at C$38.11.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 64.93 points, or 0.43 percent, at 15,088.82.
Of the index’s 10 main groups, eight climbed. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the upside.
Financial stocks staged a late session rally to finish in positive territory, rising a modest 0.1 percent.
Telecoms gained 2.2 percent, with Manitoba Telecom Services MBT.TO jumping 6.7 percent to C$27.38. The company said it would cut jobs at its Allstream unit and slash its dividend following a strategic review.
Telus Corp (T.TO) shares rose 1.9 percent to C$42.80 after reporting a higher quarterly profit.
Energy stocks were battered for a third straight session, falling 1.6 percent, hurt in large part as crude prices sank 3 percent from 2015 highs hit on Wednesday, as oil was pressured by a rebounding U.S. dollar. [O/R]
Stocks were hit on Wednesday following the shocking victory of the left-leaning New Democratic party in Alberta that sparked concerns over how policy changes might impact the oil-rich province. The markets have since calmed down, analysts say, but uncertainty is expected to linger.
“Today oil is down, so that’s dragging them down,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. “But the (election) hangover’s going to be around for a while.”
Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) shares surged 6.7 percent to close at C$2.54 after the company outlined plans to list a minority stake in its rail unit and reported a quarterly profit that topped market expectations.
Editing by David Gregorio