TSX scores biggest rally since mid Feb as oil rallies

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index on Tuesday scored its largest gain since mid February as oil and global stocks rose, while Canada’s oil sands production trickled back as the wildfire threat eased.

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

The rally came after the index fell on Monday to a nearly four-week low of 13,535.54.

“There certainly has been some change in sentiment and it’s a good thing that investors are getting back to buying on the dips,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities.

The most influential movers on the index included Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO, which rose 3.9 percent to C$34.52, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO, which advanced 3.1 percent to C$36.95.

The overall energy group advanced 2.4 percent as oil rallied.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $44.66 a barrel, up 2.81 percent, helped by expectations that record U.S. crude inventories would not swell by as much as they have in recent weeks. [O/R]

Oil sands companies around the Canadian energy center of Fort McMurray began to resume production after an out-of-control wildfire forced a shutdown a week ago, and energy executives met with province leaders who reported the town was less damaged than first feared.

The better news for oil sands companies has pulled investors back into the market, said Picardo.

French utility EDF EDF.PA announced a deal to build three offshore wind parks in France with Canada's Enbridge Inc ENB.TO. Enbridge's shares rose 3.5 percent to C$51.66.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 211.35 points, or 1.56 percent, at 13,775.19. It touched its highest since May 3 of 13,797.96.

“I think the reason for these big swings is because investors are still very unsure about the state of the global economy,” said Picardo.

The financials group advanced 1.1 percent, including a 1.3 percent gain for Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO to C$76.61, while Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO was up 1.1 percent at C$55.93.

Industrials rose 1.6 percent, led by railway stocks.

Nine of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sandra Maler