TSX racks up best week in two years as oil shares rise

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday as a boost from the heavyweight energy sector helped the market rack up its best weekly performance in nearly two years.

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 finished up 44.98 points, or 0.29 percent, at 15,452.64.

For the week, the index was up 2.8 percent in its biggest increase since March 2016, partly thanks due to a strong rally on Monday following last week’s global equities sell-off.

The energy group climbed 1.1 percent, boosted for the second day by TransCanada Corp, which advanced 2.3 percent to C$57.61 after it said on Thursday it would go ahead with the expansion of its NGTL natural gas system.

Suncor Energy also helped support the market, gaining 2.2 percent to C$43.36 as the price of oil was boosted by a rebound in global equities. U.S. crude settled up 34 cents at $61.68 a barrel.

But the market’s gains were tempered by a drop in gold producers as gold futures fell 0.3 percent to $1,347.70. Agnico Eagle Mines was among the biggest drags on the index, down 3.9 percent at C$54.12, while First Quantum Minerals declined 2.7 percent to C$20.81. [GOL/]

Shares of cannabis companies also came under pressure the day after Canadian government officials said the planned July start date for legalized recreational marijuana was set to be delayed further.

Canopy Growth dropped 5.3 percent to C$26.50, while Aphria Inc slumped 5.5 percent to C$14.06. Aurora Cannabis was among the most actively traded companies, down 6.6 percent at $10.13.

Separately, the province of Alberta said recreational marijuana will be sold in licensed private retail stores to be overseen by a government regulator. The federal government has left the details of how to sell cannabis up to the provinces.

Among the day’s corporate earnings, Air Canada rose 1.3 percent to C$24.64 after it reported better-than-expected profit and said it expects a joint venture with Air China to be wrapped up this spring.

The TSX posted 7 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows. Across all Canadian issues there were 19 new 52-week highs and 21 new lows. Volume on the TSX index was 215.29 million shares.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chizu Nomiyama