November 5, 2018 / 12:44 PM / 9 days ago

Energy shares, Poloz comments lift TSX

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday, starting the week on a firm footing, helped by gains in energy shares on the back of recovery in oil prices.

Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

** At 9:38 a.m. ET (1438 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was up 50.97 points, or 0.34 percent, at 15,170.25.

** Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz welcomed the recent financial market developments, especially market volatility, a stronger U.S. dollar and higher yields for long-term bonds.

** Oil prices recovered some ground after heavy losses for five days as the United States imposed a range of punitive sanctions on Iran, aiming to curb exports by the Islamic Republic, including its sales of fuel. [O/R]

** Eight of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by a 1.6 percent rise in energy stocks.

** U.S. crude was up 1 percent per barrel, while Brent crude added 1.4 percent.

** Second biggest percentage gainer among the major sectors was the healthcare group, which rose 1.3 percent, helped by a 7.5 percent rise in shares of Bausch Health Companies Inc, which will announce results on Tuesday.

** Also boosting sentiment was comments from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, who said market volatility, a stronger U.S. dollar and higher yields for long-term bonds are signs that markets are becoming more normal, rather than an indication of trouble.

** The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart as Poloz pushed back against critics who complain that economic forecasts from the central bank are too optimistic.

** However, the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, edged down 0.2 percent, as gold and copper prices fell after investors took some profits following a rally over the past week.

** On the TSX, 162 issues were higher, while 74 issues declined for a 2.19-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with volumes touching 13.93 million shares.

** Top percentage gainer on the TSX was Bausch Health, which jumped 7.5 percent, followed by shares of energy company Birchcliff Energy Ltd, which rose 6.1 percent.

** Sleep Country Canada Holdings fell 5.2 percent, the most on the TSX, after analysts cut price targets.

** The most heavily traded shares by volume were of The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings, Aurora Cannabis and Royal Nickel.

** The TSX posted no new 52-week high and one new low.

** Across all Canadian issues, there were two new 52-week highs and 15 new lows, with total volume touching 24.93 million shares.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel

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