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* TSX closes up 41.5 points, or 0.27 percent, at 15,562.41
* Index posts its highest close since March 7
* Five of the TSX’s 10 main groups end higher
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, led by gains for financials as bond yields rose, while luxury parka maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc gained on its stock market debut.
The winter outerwear company’s shares ended at C$21.53, a nearly 27 percent gain from its initial public offering price of C$17 per share as it raised C$340 million.
Bond yields rebounded, lowering the value of insurance companies’ liabilities and increasing net interest margins of banks. Yields tumbled on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates but did not flag an accelerated pace of monetary tightening.
The country’s major banks were among the most influential movers on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada gaining 0.7 percent to C$97.31, while the overall financials group gained 0.4 percent.
The banks faced intensifying scrutiny on Wednesday after the country’s financial watchdog launched an investigation and lawmakers called for a parliamentary inquiry following media reports suggesting improper sales practices at certain banks.
The “oligopoly nature” of Canada’s banking sector has lessened some of the impact on banks’ share prices, said Ian Scott, equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.
Customers may be less inclined to move their business to another bank after it became clear that the practices of more than one bank are under scrutiny, he added.
Premium Brands Holdings Corp climbed 5.7 percent to C$77.50 after reporting record fourth-quarter results and a 10.5 percent increase in its dividend.
It was “another consistent solid quarter,” said Scott.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 41.5 points, or 0.27 percent, at 15,562.41, its highest close since March 7.
The materials group, which includes miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2 percent as base and precious metal prices rose.
Gold futures rose 2.2 percent to $1,226.1 an ounce and copper prices advanced 0.8 percent to $5,908.85 a tonne.
Five of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher. Energy was among the sectors that did not advance, dipping slightly with oil prices. U.S. crude prices settled 11 cents lower at $48.75 a barrel.
Oil prices jumped on Wednesday after a dip in U.S. crude inventories suggested OPEC-led output cuts were starting to drain supplies.
Foreign investment in Canadian securities dropped to its lowest in more than a year in January, as non-residents bought bonds while selling stocks and money market paper, Statistics Canada said. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by W Simon and James Dalgleish)