TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed up 1.2 percent on Wednesday, boosted by a sharp rally in oil prices that benefited energy stocks, while railways also featured among major gainers. Among major stock index movers were Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), which rose 2.9 percent to C$81.79 as higher freight rates helped it report a lift in revenue despite lower volumes.
A Federal Reserve policy decision to hold U.S. interest rates provided support to the market.
“The markets were expecting calming words from the Fed,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of Richardson GMP Ltd, which manages about C$28.3 billion in assets.
“The markets got what they wanted and reacted positively,” he added. “The probability of a rate hike depends on equity markets and incoming economic data.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 163.56 points, or 1.19 percent, at 13,863.16. Nine of its 10 main groups gained. On the negative side, convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATDb.TO) slipped 1.3 percent to C$58.06. Cott Corp (BCB.TO) fell 6.9 percent to C$14.14 after the beverage company's earnings missed expectations. The energy group see-sawed in early trade but ended up 2.7 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) rising 3.7 percent to C$30.65.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp and John Tilak; Editing by W Simon and James Dalgleish