TSX rallies to a two-week high, led by energy as oil surges

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rallied more than one percent to a two-week high on Monday, with energy stocks leading broad-based gains as oil surged.

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Oil prices reached six-month highs on worries about global supply outages and as long-time bear Goldman Sachs sounded more positive on the market. [O/R]

“Over this year Canada looks like an attractive investment opportunity, I think oil is going to finish higher than where it is right now,” said Kevin Headland, senior investment strategist at Manulife Investments.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices were up 3.6 percent to $47.89 a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 added 2.6 percent to $49.08.

The most influential movers on the index included Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO, up 2.7 percent at C$34.98, and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, which added 2.1 percent at C$37.73.

Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO advanced 2.3 percent to C$24.41, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO rose 2.6 percent to C$23.85.

The energy group climbed 2.9 percent, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.9 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 144.91 points, or 1.05 percent, at 13,893.49.

It touched its highest level since May 2 of 13,930.61, with all of the index’s 10 main groups ending higher.

The index has rallied more than 20 percent since hitting an almost 3-1/2-year low in January, but has been unable to climb above the 14,000 threshold.

“It’s going to be a key resistance level,” said Headland, who cautioned earnings have been “lackluster.”

The heavyweight financials group gained 0.3 percent, led by a 3.7 percent gain for Brookfield Asset Management Inc BAMa.TO to C$44.50, while consumer staples rose 1.1 percent.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO rose 3.8 percent to C$34.85. The company said it would cut prices for hospitals on two heart drugs after shareholder William Ackman pledged to revisit controversial price hikes on the treatments.

Shares in Penn West Petroleum Ltd PWT.TO sank 21.9 percent to 82 Canadian cents a share after it said it may default on its financial covenants at the end of the second quarter and raised doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Andrew Hay