TSX rebounds from a seven-month low last week as resource shares climb

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday, rebounding from a seven-month low at the end of last week, led by its materials and energy groups as commodity prices rose.

Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 2.8 percent, while energy climbed nearly 1 percent.

Still, the materials group has lost more than 15 percent since Feb. 10. Energy is down nearly 22 percent this year.

“There is certainly no rush to reestablish positions in these sectors, but there’s certainly some people dipping their toe in the water,” said Bruce Latimer, senior equity trader at Eight Capital.

Fertilizer producer Potash Corp was the most influential gainer, rising 5.2 percent to C$22.13, while Agrium Inc, which is set to merge with Potash this year, advanced 5.4 percent to C$123.33.

Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.8 percent to C$20.37. Gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,210.9 an ounce. [GOL/]

U.S. crude oil futures settled 17 cents higher at $44.40 a barrel, but increased drilling activity in the United States and uncertainty over Libyan and Nigerian production cuts clouded the future supply outlook.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 1.7 percent to C$36.95.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 78.12 points, or 0.52 percent, at 15,105.28.

On Friday, the index posted its lowest close since November at 15,027.16.

Gains for the index on Monday came as Wall Street started the week on an upbeat note, led by gains in technology stocks as investors were optimistic ahead of earnings.

Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups ended higher, including a 0.1 percent gain for the financials group, which accounts for about a third of the index’s weight.

Home Capital Group fell 4.4 percent to C$14.47. The stock has retreated in recent sessions following news that Canada plans to ban some bundled residential mortgages to clamp down on risky lending.

Consumer discretionary shares climbed 0.7 percent, with cable company Cogeco Communications Inc rising 2.9 percent to C$82.09 following news its subsidiary Atlantic Broadband would buy MetroCast’s assets for about $1.4 billion, expanding its presence in the United States.

Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc fell 7.2 percent to C$34.77 after it posted on Friday its June 2017 auction metrics, while CIBC cut its target price on the stock to $28 from $36.

Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and James Dalgleish