(Adds portfolio manager comment, updates prices, details)
* TSX ends up 246.43 points, or 1.91 percent, at 13,166.00
* Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups rise; energy falls
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index jumped for a second day on Wednesday, with banks climbing after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates and mining stocks were boosted as gold held on to gains given the Fed pointed to a slow pace of further hikes.
The energy group weighed, however, as a sharp jump in U.S. inventories and the Fed hike’s implications for a stronger U.S. currency weighed on crude prices.
The materials group - which includes gold and base metal miners, fertilizer stocks and others - climbed 3.9 percent while financials added 1.5 percent.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc added to its surge on Tuesday, jumping another 9.2 percent to C$163.57 after projecting 30 percent profit growth in 2016.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index settled up 246.43 points, or 1.91 percent, at 13,166.00, with nine of the index’s 10 main groups in positive territory.
The energy group fell 0.6 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources down 2.3 percent to C$28.99 and Encana Corp losing 3.4 percent to C$7.31.
“If investors want to still play in Canada, you stay away from commodities, stay away from industrial mining, just focus on technology, consumers and gold,” said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager at M.Y. Capital Management Corp in Vancouver.
Xu said an array of dangers included a stretched housing market threatening further weakness in Canadian equities, which on Monday hit their lowest since August 2013.
“The Canadian economy is behaving like an emerging market now,” he said. “As rates start going higher in the U.S. and on the other side with the lower energy price, you going to see a flight of capital out of Canada go to higher return countries, namely the U.S.,” he said.
Some of the country’s biggest banks extended gains after the Fed move, with Royal Bank of Canada ending 1.9 percent higher at C$75.05 and Toronto-Dominion Bank up 2 percent at C$54.99.
Canadian Pacific Railway rose 3.2 percent to C$177.08 after it sweetened its bid for Norfolk Southern Corp and slammed the company’s leadership for misleading investors.
Gold miner Barrick Gold Corp added 7.8 percent to C$10.53 and rival Goldcorp Inc advanced 7.3 percent to C$16.34, as gold held steady.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by James Dalgleish and Chris Reese