TSX rises as RBC earnings lift banks, energy buoyed by oil

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index rose on Wednesday, after upbeat quarterly results from Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO helped lift financial stocks, and higher oil prices gave oil and gas companies a boost.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as weakness in financial and energy shares offset gains in the materials sector. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

RBC’s stock rose 1.1 percent to C$93.01 after it kicked off the country’s banking earnings season with double-digit growth at its wealth management business, which offset a weaker showing in its capital markets unit.

Rivals reporting over the next week made smaller gains, with the heavyweight financials group gaining 0.5 percent overall.

“The best thing about Royal is there was absolutely no evidence at all of bad credit conditions,” said David Baskin, portfolio manager and president of Baskin Financial Services.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 78.20 points, or 0.52 percent, at 15,063.16. Six of its 10 main sectors were higher.

Enbridge Inc ENB.TO topped the list of companies that had the biggest impact on the index, rising 2 percent to C$51.18. TransCanada Corp TRP.TO was not far behind, with a 1.1 percent climb to C$63.31.

Energy stocks, which account for some 20 percent of the TSX’s weight, finished up 1.1 percent alongside oil prices that bounced on data showing U.S. crude inventories fell for the eighth straight week. An approaching storm along the Gulf Coast also raised the possibility of output disruptions.

Baskin said further oil gains would likely be capped due to the ability for U.S. producers to quickly bring on additional supply as prices rise.

Interest-rate sensitive utilities stocks added 0.9 percent, with Fortis Inc FTS.TO up 1.1 percent at C$45.82.

Iamgold Corp IMG.TO finished 3.7 percent higher at C$7.49 and Cominar REIT CUF_u.TO jumped 5.2 percent to C$13.46 after analysts at Bank of Montreal raised their price targets and recommendations on the stocks.

The overall materials group, home to mining and other resource firms, gained 0.6 percent.

Industrial stocks were off a modest 0.1 percent, but losses were tempered by Air Canada AC.TO, which advanced 3.8 percent to C$23.92. Canada's largest airline announced a new Montreal-Tokyo non-stop flight service.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Solarina Ho; Editing by Bill Trott and Alistair Bell