TSX hits record high; bolstered by oil, economic prospects

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index powered to a record high on Friday propelled by higher oil prices and expectations of corporate-friendly tax cuts in the United States, while an unexpected surge in domestic job growth also suggested a brighter economic outlook.

Passersby watch the performance of stocks on a financial news television screen in the business district of Toronto, Canada, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index finished up 111.82, or 0.72 percent, at 15,729.12, with all but one of the index’s 10 main groups ending in positive territory. The TSX rose 1.6 percent on the week.

The moves mirrored Wall Street, where markets hit fresh highs on oil prices and optimism over U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic agenda.

“Donald has promised a ‘phenomenal’ tax plan. At this stage they’re willing to bet that in fact it will be somewhat stimulative,” said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer of Fundamental Equities at BMO Asset Management. “It’s a pro-growth, cyclical-led rally.”

The most influential movers on the index included Royal Bank of Canada, which rose 0.7 percent to C$96.84, and Teck Resources, which advanced 5.8 percent to C$32.60.

The overall financials group gained 0.5 percent, while materials, home to mining and other resources stocks, was up nearly 1.5 percent.

Oil prices climbed following reports that OPEC members delivered more than 90 percent of the output cuts they promised in a landmark deal that took effect last month.

U.S. crude prices were up 1.5 percent to $53.79 a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.8 percent to $56.64.

The energy group rallied 1.0 percent in response, with Canadian Natural Resources advancing 1.1 percent to C$39.48.

Canada unexpectedly added 48,300 jobs last month, exceeding economists’ expectations for no employment growth.

“All of a sudden it appears we may close the gap with the U.S more meaningfully than we would’ve thought,” said Taylor.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 202 to 41, for a 4.93-to-1 ratio on the upside.

The index posted 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Diane Craft