TSX ends at highest since Aug; energy shares rise with oil

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index notched its highest close in almost a year on Tuesday, as shares of oil and gas producers surged along with crude and banking and industrial stocks rallied as risk aversion faded.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Energy shares jumped 3.2 percent and financials added 1.2 percent, while gold miners were the biggest drags on the index.

Financial stocks account for 35 percent of the index’s weight, while energy stocks constitute 20 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 115.79 points, or 0.81 percent, at 14,477.67, its highest close since Aug. 5 last year.

The gains echoed record highs on Wall Street, partly fueled by Alcoa’s getting the U.S. earnings season off to a better-than-expected start. [.N]

Still, Canada’s benchmark stock index will likely notch only minor gains by year-end, a Reuters poll found.

Investors were in a broadly bullish mood. Political tensions eased in Britain with agreement on a new leader to navigate the country’s European Union exit, and a weekend election victory by Japan’s ruling coalition paved the way for more stimulus there.

Britain’s exit from the European Union “is going to be like the Fed all over again,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities, referring to the U.S. central bank’s talk of multiple rate hikes that have not come to pass. “It’s going to go on and on and on.”

Oil surged 5 percent as investors covered short positions and a technical rebound helped lift the market off two-month lows. [O/R]

Canadian Natural Resources gained 3.7 percent to C$41.41, Suncor Energy Inc added 2.6 percent to C$37.23, and Cenovus Energy rose 4.4 percent to C$18.73.

Shares in Northland Power jumped 6.6 percent to C$24.22 after the green energy company said it was considering its strategic options as it eyes more and larger opportunities.

Canadian National Railway Co added 2.2 percent to C$79.79, and rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd rose 2 percent to C$177.94. Industrials rose 1.2 percent.

The most influential drags on the index were its gold miners, which declined with a sharp fall in the price of gold as investors turned to riskier assets. [GOL/]

Barrick Gold Corp sagged 7 percent to C$26.89, Goldcorp Inc fell 3.5 percent to C$25.39, and Franco-Nevada Corp declined 4.8 percent to C$98.68.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 2.5 percent. It was the only one of the index’s 10 main sectors to finish in the red.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Leslie Adler