TSX touches 7-1/2-month high on banks, Pretium Resources surge

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index hit a 7-1/2-month high on Wednesday, helped in part by soaring Pretium Resources Inc shares and modest gains in the hefty financial services group.

FILE PHOTO - A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 30.04 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 15,800.40. This was the index’s highest close since February 22. It hit an intraday high of 15,816.82.

Eight of the index’s 10 main sectors rose.

“Most sectors are benefiting from a strong Canadian economy,” said Bryden Teich, a portfolio manager with Avenue Investment Management.

Teich said expectations the Bank of Canada would increase rates more aggressively had weighed on the market for much of the year. The index rallied through much of September as the Bank signaled that would not be the case.

“Over the short term we’re probably a little bit overbought ... but I think there’s room to move higher to the end of the year.”

Pretium Resources surged 24.1 percent to C$15.05 after the company said its Brucejack mine produced 82,203 ounces of gold in the third quarter.

The overall materials group, which includes miners, fertilizer producers and forestry companies, rose 0.3 percent. Gold futures were up 0.1 percent to $1,292 an ounce, while copper prices advanced 0.7 percent to $6,808.75 a tonne. [GOL/][MET/L]

Financial services, which accounts for about a third of the index’s weight, added 0.2 percent.

Shawcor Ltd rose 8.6 percent to C$29.6 after National Bank of Canada raised its price target and rating to outperform from sector perform.

The overall energy group retreated 0.1 percent, however, due in part to some profit-taking by investors following Tuesday’s rally on the back of a 2.7 percent jump in U.S. crude prices.

Shopify Inc shares recouped some of its recent losses, rising 2.3 percent to C$118.40.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 138 to 106, for a 1.30-to-1 ratio on the upside.

The index saw nine issues posting new 52-week highs and 3 posting new lows.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Diane Craft