TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index closed higher on Wednesday after five days of declines, with miners and other materials stocks leading a broad but subdued rebound as the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted at a less aggressive outlook for interest rates.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 39.22 points, or 0.28 percent, at 13,923.45, lifting it off a near one-month low.
"Essentially everything is flat except for materials," said Manash Goswami, a portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management Inc, pointing to a dovish Fed as supportive for gold.
"There is also a lot of uncertainty coming up with the Brexit vote next week," he said, referring to a June 23 British vote on whether to leave the European Union.
Worries that Britain, the world's fifth-largest economy, could quit the EU have dominated markets this week and driven investors towards safe-haven assets such as gold.
He said that he likes defensive sectors such as utilities, telecoms and consumer staples given a tepid economic growth outlook.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, gained 2.8 percent, with Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO up 5.3 percent at C$14.91 and First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) adding 5.8 percent to C$8.64.
On the other side of the ledger, Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) fell 0.6 percent to C$33.96 and Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO) lost 1.6 percent to C$18.46, while the overall energy group dipped 0.3 percent as oil prices fell for a fifth straight day. [O/R]
Suncor, Canada's largest crude producer, told employees the massive wildfire that struck northern Alberta in May will cost it nearly C$1 billion, according to two sources.
The financials group slipped 0.2 percent and industrials rose 0.4 percent. Seven of the index's 10 main groups rose and advancers outnumbered decliners by 3-to-2.
Canadian manufacturing sales grew by a greater-than-expected 1.0 percent in April from March after two consecutive month-on-month declines, data from Statistics Canada indicated on Wednesday. ECONCA
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio