TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose nearly 1 percent on Wednesday as upbeat U.S. economic data and strong commodity prices helped drive shares higher in most major sectors.
Investors also digested news that Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) reported stronger quarterly profit, with gains at its core personal and commercial banking and wealth management businesses offsetting weakness at its capital markets arm. The stock was up slightly.
Figures released on Wednesday showed U.S. private employers added jobs at a brisk pace in November.
Oil and gas shares have been pounded in recent weeks over concerns about increasing supply and sluggish demand, and last week’s decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep production steady sent oil prices and energy shares over the edge.
The heavyweight energy sector has lost nearly a third of its value since mid-June, weighing sharply on the broader benchmark.
“When you have a dramatic decline like you’ve seen in oil prices, it could herald a turning point (in sentiment),” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.
“I see a compelling buying opportunity in the energy space, but it’s hard to convince people about that because of the ongoing cascade of bad news on oil,” he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 133.99 points, or 0.92 percent, at 14,754.06. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index rose.
Shares of energy producers jumped 1.3 percent, with the price of U.S. crude oil CLc1 gaining nearly 1 percent. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) added 2.1 percent to C$37.36, and Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) climbed 3.5 percent to C$54.43.
The gold-mining sector rose 2.7 percent, reflecting strength in the bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) advanced 3.2 percent to C$14.02, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO was up 1 percent at C$23.48.
Editing by James Dalgleish