TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index edged higher on Friday, marking its eighth straight rising session, as gains in energy and financial issues outweighed a slide among gold miners.
Oil sands-focused company Cenovus Energy Inc was the top heavyweight gainer of the day, up 3.3 percent at C$27.48, with Suncor Energy the No. 3 gainer, up 0.8 percent at C$31.93.
Concerns that a strike in French refineries along with geopolitical tensions over Iran’s nuclear situation led to supply worries, which pushed the price of U.S. crude oil futures higher for the fourth day in a row.
Financial shares were mainly higher on the notion that they will continue to benefit from the stronger Canadian economy, said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
Royal Bank of Canada pushed up 0.6 percent to C$57.09 and Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.4 percent to C$66.38. Manulife Financial gained 0.9 percent to C$19.65.
Trade was somewhat cautious as the market digested an unexpected hike in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s discount rate, which is the rate at which the U.S. central bank lends to banks.
The move suggested to some that the Fed was close to raising its fed funds rate, its main policy tool, despite assurances from Fed policymakers to the contrary.
“The good news is that the markets have totally taken it in stride and I guess the thinking is that it is part of the normalization process and not a precursor to aggressive tightening down the road,” Picardo said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended 14.45 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 11,709.29. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were higher, with the energy and financial groups both up 0.3 percent.
For the week, the index gained 2.1 percent.
“This is the eighth straight day that the market is up and it hasn’t been straight up, it’s been little by little, up 50 points here and 100 points there ... so it’s telling us that there is still a lot of cash out there,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
Gold producers were the biggest drag on the index, giving back some of the healthy gains they made earlier in the week on strong quarterly results.
Goldcorp was the index’s No. 1 decliner, falling 1.3 percent to C$40.32. Agnico Eagle and Kinross Gold followed, down 3.4 percent to C$60.72, and 2.3 percent to C$19.23 respectively.
Solid quarterly results this week from some blue-chip companies have helped added to the TSX’s streak.
On Friday, Brookfield Asset Management added to the growing list of estimate beaters with a strong performance from its renewable power and office property businesses. The stock rose 1 percent to C$24.19.
Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway