TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday as higher oil prices boosted energy stocks, while the country’s biggest railway companies and some of its major banks also gained as trade data offered further evidence of a third-quarter economic rebound.
Meanwhile, major gold miner Barrick Gold Corp jumped 3.3 percent to C$21.07 after its Veladero mine in Argentina resumed operations that were suspended on Sept. 15 after a processing solution containing cyanide spilled.
The energy group climbed 2.4 percent as oil prices hit their highest since June after the fifth unexpected weekly drawdown in U.S. crude inventories. That data added to support for oil on hopes that major producers will agree to cut output next month. [O/R]
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 2.1 percent to C$42.88 and Encana Corp gained 3.7 percent to C$14.42. Encana said it has made $50 million in cost savings in 2016 as it reacted to a two-year crude rout.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index settled up 89.57 points, or 0.62 percent, at 14,610.58. Six of its 10 main sectors rose.
“I think (oil) prices will saw-tooth their way higher from here, the market will remain quite volatile, but we expect there will be an upward bias,” said Irwin Michael, a portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
Enerplus Corp shares rose 7.7 percent to C$9.81. The energy producer has put its natural gas assets in the U.S. Marcellus shale region up for sale, according to three sources familiar with the situation.
Canada’s trade deficit in August shrank to its lowest in eight months on stronger non-energy exports, seen as further limiting the outside chance of an October interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada.
The financials group gained 0.5 percent, with Manulife Financial Corp up 2.7 percent to C$19.11 and Royal Bank of Canada adding 0.6 percent to C$81.62.
Industrials rose 1.2 percent, with Canadian National Railway Co up 1.5 percent to C$88.32 and rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd gaining 1.9 percent to C$204.
Railway earnings are closely linked to the performance of the broader economy, rising as growth boosts demand for raw materials and consumer goods.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and James Dalgleish