CANADA STOCKS-TSX nears six-year high as energy shares rally

Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:26am EDT

* TSX up 51.73 points, or 0.35 percent, at 14,961.36
    * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Talisman climbs after move to sell Asian assets

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed to its highest in almost six years on Friday as worries
triggered by the increasing tension in Iraq fueled higher oil
prices, boosting shares in the energy sector.
    Iraq's most senior Shi'ite cleric urged his followers on
Friday to take up arms to defend themselves against a relentless
advance by Sunni militants, in a sharp escalation of a conflict
that is threatening civil war and the potential break-up of the
country. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index, which has
advanced in 10 of the past 11 sessions, is up nearly 10 percent
this year. The energy sector has been a driving force behind
those gains.
    "This is going to be another outstanding quarter for
companies in the oil patch," said David Cockfield, managing
director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management,
who expects the higher oil prices to lift the profits of energy
producers.
    The TSX is likely to outperform the U.S. stock market this
year, he added. "Our market is reasonably priced, with the
exception of the energy sector, which still has some way to go."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 51.73 points, or 0.35 percent, at 14,961.36.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. The index
rose as high as 14,984.96, its highest level since June 19,
2008.
    Shares of energy producers gained 1.4 percent. Suncor Energy
Inc jumped 1.7 percent to C$46.23, and Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd climbed 1.5 percent to C$47.76.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.6 percent at
C$75.10, and Bank of Nova Scotia rose 0.2 percent to
C$70.56.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped
0.4 percent, with Goldcorp Inc giving back 0.7 percent to
C$27.
    In corporate news, sources told Reuters that Talisman Energy
Inc was reviewing its Asian oil and gas portfolio,
valued at about $4 billion, which could lead to a partial or
full sale. The stock advanced 2 percent to C$11.48.
 
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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