Toronto stocks edge up with help from gold producers

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

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index closed slightly higher on Monday as gold producers overcame earlier declines and helped offset energy shares that were dragged lower by the price of oil.

* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 26.98 points, or 0.17 percent, at 15,604.79.

* The healthcare sector also helped support the market, rising 2.3 percent. Cannabis producer Canopy Growth was among the most actively traded shares, jumping 5.0 percent to C$32.49.

* Barrick Gold was among the biggest gains on the index, up 3.0 percent at C$15.59 after RBC raised its rating on the stock to “outperform.” The gold subsector as a whole rose 1.1 percent.

* But losses in the energy sector kept a cap on Toronto markets as the group slipped 0.4 percent. Canadian Natural Resources fell 0.7 percent to C$38.63.

* U.S. crude prices settled down 68 cents at $61.36 a barrel on expectations that U.S. output will rise this year. [O/R]

* Shares of Bombardier Inc fell 1.1 percent to C$3.71 after one of its Q400 planes crashed in Nepal.

* The TSX posted six new 52-week highs and three new lows. Volume on the TSX index was 152.23 million shares.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr in Ottawa; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Peter Cooney