TSX edges slightly higher as materials stocks rebound

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main share index edged higher on Thursday as the materials group pared some recent losses before the start of a global central bankers’ gathering and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce rose after better-than-expected earnings.

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A modest gain for the index follows its biggest decline on Wednesday in more than eight weeks.

The market is on “tenterhooks,” waiting for Friday’s speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

If Yellen signals that interest rates are on hold through the end of 2016, then the Canadian market could rise to new highs for the year, Nakamoto added.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.9 percent, turning higher after having hit a two month low earlier in the session.

Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO rose 4.3 percent to C$21.24, while Kinross Gold Corp K.TO was up 2.75 percent at C$5.61.

Spot gold XAU= hit a four-week low, pressured by upbeat U.S. durable goods orders data in the run-up to Yellen's speech, but some losses for gold were pared. [GOL/]

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 4.48 points, or 0.03 percent, to 14,630.72. Earlier in the session, the index hit its lowest since Aug. 5 at 14,579.64.

Six of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.

The health care group advanced 0.5 percent, led by a 2.1 percent gain for Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO to C$40.21.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO rose 1.3 percent to C$103.28.

Both it and Toronto-Dominion Bank <TD.TO reported better-than-expected earnings, continuing a strong performance by leading Canadian lenders in the last quarter.

Still, the shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank were 0.1 percent lower at C$57.50 and the overall financials group was nearly unchanged.

Energy stocks dipped 0.1 percent despite higher oil prices.

U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 56 cents higher at $47.33 a barrel, although gains were pared after a Reuters interview with the Saudi Energy Minister that cast doubts on any OPEC output freeze. [O/R]

Pipeline company Enbridge Inc ENB.TO fell 1.7 percent to C$51.76.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Alan Crosby