OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday as the financial and resource sectors advanced, while non-bank lender Home Capital Group jumped after it said it would get a line of credit from Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Shares of Home Capital, which nearly collapsed in April, soared 23 percent to C$18.38 after it said billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire would provide a C$2 billion ($1.51 billion) loan to its Home Trust Co unit.
“Berkshire stepping in has alleviated people’s fears about the housing market in Ontario and Canada,” said Bryden Teich, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.
Investors have worried that a slowdown in Canada’s housing market will hurt its economy.
Financial shares were the biggest lift on the Toronto market, with Royal Bank of Canada up 0.8 percent at C$94.02 and Bank of Nova Scotia gaining 0.9 percent to C$79.69. The financial sector gained 0.6 percent overall.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 71.37 points, or 0.47 percent, at 15,219.90.
Eight of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.
Shares of energy companies got a boost from higher oil prices. Enbridge Inc rose nearly 2 percent to C$51.61, while U.S. crude oil futures settled 21 cents higher at $42.74 a barrel.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.0 percent.
Gold futures rose 0.5 percent to $1,249 an ounce.
Sears Canada Inc said it plans to cut jobs and close about a quarter of its stores as it restructures its operations after a steady decline in sales due to competition from big-box retailers and online merchants.
The stock did not trade in Canada, where it was halted by the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Tom Brown