TORONTO: Canada’s main stock index firmed to a one-week high on Wednesday, led by financial stocks as investors grew more optimistic that Britons would vote to stay in the European Union.
Canada’s heavyweight bank stocks were among the most influential movers on the index. Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.4 percent to C$56.58 and Royal Bank of Canada climbed by 0.5 percent to C$79.02, while the overall financials group advanced 0.4 percent.
Stocks also drew support from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments on the US economy on Tuesday, when she virtually ruled out a July interest rate hike.
Industrials advanced 0.8 percent as railway stocks rebounded, while the healthcare group was up 1.7 percent.
At 11:02 a.m. EDT (1502 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 19.64 points, or 0.14 percent, to 14,031.96.
It touched its highest since June 13 at 14,066.56. Seven of the index’s 10 main groups were in higher.
Energy stocks were among those that dragged, retreating as oil turned lower after earlier rising above $50 a barrel.
The overall energy group fell 0.5 percent, including a 1.2 percent drop in Canadian Natural Resources Ltd to C$38.38.
US crude prices were down 0.8 percent to $49.47 a barrel after data showed a smaller-than-expected draw in US crude inventory.
Weakening in energy stocks came after the Alberta Energy Regulator toughened rules determining if companies are financially strong enough to buy oil and gas assets, a move some energy industry players warned on Tuesday could hamper mergers and acquisition in the province.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.3 percent.
Canadian retail sales in April rose by 0.9 percent from March to hit a record C$44.28 billion ($34.59 billion), thanks largely to higher sales at gasoline stations, Statistics Canada said.
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder