CANADA STOCKS-TSX closes in on six-year high as energy shares surge

Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:06pm EDT

* TSX up 91.98 points, or 0.62 percent, at 15,001.61
    * Six of 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
advanced to its highest in almost six years on Friday as
heightened tensions in Iraq raised concerns about oil supply,
sending prices of the commodity and shares in the sector higher.
    Investors followed news that Iraq's most senior Shi'ite
cleric urged his followers to take up arms to defend themselves
against a relentless advance by Sunni militants, in a sharp
escalation of a conflict which 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 more than 10
percent this year. The energy sector has been a driving force
behind those gains.
    "Energy is definitely the best place to be at the moment in
the Canadian market," said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager at MY
Capital Management Corp, who expects the TSX to outperform the
U.S. market this year.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 91.98 points, or 0.62 percent, at 15,001.61.
The index rose as high as 15,017.19, its highest since June 19,
2008. 
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers gained 2 percent. Suncor Energy
Inc jumped 2 percent to C$46.35, and Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd climbed 2 percent to C$47.99.
    "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.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.7 percent at
C$75.23, and Bank of Nova Scotia rose 0.2 percent to
C$70.52.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained
0.6 percent, with Goldcorp Inc rising 0.5 percent to
C$27.33.
    In corporate news, people familiar with the matter 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 2.3
percent to C$11.52. 
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway and James Dalgleish)
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