April 18, 2018 / 4:05 PM / 7 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX jumps with oil prices, rate hike prospects boost banks

(Updates)

April 18 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose for the fifth day in a row on Wednesday, to hit a near-one month high, as energy stocks gained with oil prices and banks moved higher after the Bank of Canada struck a more hawkish tone on the future of interest rates.

* At 11:37 a.m. ET (1537 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 200.3 points, or 1.3 percent, to 15,553.6, hitting its highest since March 22.

* All of TSX’s 10 main index sectors were higher.

* The financial sector, which accounts for about 35 percent of the TSX’s weight, gave the biggest boost with its 1 percent advance.

* While the Bank of Canada held interest rates steady, as expected, it said more hikes will be needed over time and pointed to a pick up in wage growth and inflation, two issues that have concerned the central bank.

* The central Bank, which has increased rates three times since last July, trimmed its economic growth forecast for 2018 and raised the outlook for 2019 saying the temporary factors weighing on inflation have largely dissipated.

* Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia rose about 1 percent. Manulife Financial jumped 1.9 percent, while TD Bank gained 0.5 percent.

* The energy sector rose 2.9 percent, as oil prices jumped more than 2 percent on a decline in U.S. crude inventories and after sources signaled top exporter Saudi Arabia wants to see prices closer to $100 a barrel.

* Shares of Suncor Energy rose 2 percent and oil and gas producer Canadian Natural Resources ticked 2.5 percent higher.

* Canadian Pacific Railway gained 0.94 percent and rival Canadian National Railway was up 1.76 percent, rising with U.S. railroad companies after CSX Corp’s strong results.

** CP Rail’s gains were likely curbed after Teamsters Canada said the railroad’s workers will go on strike on April 21 following a stalemate in talks between the two parties.

* The TSX posted 14 new 52-week highs and two new lows. Across all Canadian issues there were 22 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows.

* The biggest percentage gainer on the TSX was Hudbay Minerals, which rose 8.5 percent, while the largest decliner was Alaris Royalty, down 6.0 percent.

* Among the most active stocks by volume were Neovasc Inc , Bombardier and Athabasca Oil Co.

* Volume on the TSX index was 91.57 million shares, While the total volume on Wednesday was 155.44 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Savio D’Souza)

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