TSX sustains six-week high as gold miners gain

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index gained for a fourth straight session on Thursday, sustaining a six-week high, as gold miners rose with bullion and consumer and telecom stocks also rose, though energy shares weighed as crude oil stockpiles increased.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Canadian Tire Corp CTCa.TO was one of the most influential movers on the index, advancing 7.8 percent to C$125.63 after its earnings beat expectations despite a slip in revenue.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 64.2 points, or 0.5 percent, at 12,931.36. The rise was much less dramatic than those of the prior three days, but the market outperformed Wall Street, which posted small losses. [.N]

The gains barely extended the index’s Wednesday push to its highest level since Jan. 5, near the start of a sharp fall.

“The stock market was sold off to an irrational level based upon no real fundamental news,” said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. “Value always surfaces.”

He said investors have been calmed by recent central banks efforts and anticipate major stimulative actions from the federal government.

“No one wants to miss out on a rally after the TSX has dropped 11 percent in 2015,” Schwartz said.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 3.8 percent.

Gold prices rose more than 2 percent, helping Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO jump 6.8 percent to C$17.36 and Goldcorp Inc G.TO gain 6.2 percent to C$21.68. [GOL/]

The consumer groups were higher, with staples up 1.3 percent and discretionary gaining 0.6 percent, while telecom stocks jumped 1.5 percent.

The country's largest wireless provider, Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO, rose 2.4 percent to C$49.89.

The energy group fell 1.4 percent, as U.S. oil settled barely higher and Brent fell after data showed U.S. crude inventories rose to record highs, overshadowing plans by oil major producers to freeze production. [O/R]

Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO declined 2.3 percent to C$29.11 and Enbridge Inc ENB.TO fell 3.2 percent to C$44.05.

Seven of the index’s 10 main groups were in negative territory, with advancers outnumbering decliners by a 3-to-2 ratio.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd FM.TO slumped 11.2 percent to C$4.36 after providing 2016-2018 guidance on Wednesday.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by W Simon and Leslie Adler