August 26, 2016 / 9:57 PM / 4 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher in seesaw session after Yellen speech

(Adds analyst comments, details on Fed officials and details on stocks throughout, updates prices)

* TSX ends up 9.16 points, or 0.06 percent, at 14,639.88

* Five of the TSX’s 10 main groups rise

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged higher in a seesaw session on Friday, led by financial and industrial stocks as investors raised bets for U.S. interest rate hikes this year after a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

For the week, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 0.3 percent. Still, it has rallied 27 percent since hitting a three-year low in January.

Much of the fluctuation in the index on Friday was driven by comments from Fed officials, said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.

The index reached its highest for the day after Yellen failed to lay out a clear roadmap for what the Fed needs to see to raise interest rates in a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

But most of the gains were pared as Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer reinforced the message that the U.S. economy has strengthened.

The odds of a U.S. rate hike as soon as September climbed to 30 percent from 21 percent on Thursday, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

The most influential movers on the index included financial and industrial stocks.

Manulife Financial Corp rose 0.9 percent to C$17.82, while Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.2 percent at C$81.54.

Royal Bank of Canada was one of a number of Canadian banks that reported better-than-expected earnings this week.

Expectations for the banks had been set low, said Kinsey.

Still, he likes owning bank stocks for their yield, while he also favors pipeline companies.

The overall financials group firmed 0.2 percent, while industrials rose 0.5 percent, including gains for railroad stocks.

Energy stocks advanced 0.3 percent, helped by higher oil prices.

U.S. crude oil futures settled 31 cents higher at $47.64 a barrel, while Suncor Energy Inc rose 0.6 percent to C$36.48.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 9.16 points, or 0.06 percent, at 14,639.88.

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

Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd said it would raise about $605 million by selling convertible debentures to shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd and other investors.

BlackBerry’s shares rose 0.6 percent to C$10.38.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.4 percent.

It included a 2.1 percent drop in the shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc to C$20.86, while Agrium Inc fell 1.75 percent to C$115.78. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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