CANADA STOCKS-TSX nears its record high as energy, bank shares rise

Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:57pm EDT

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* TSX up 38.82 points, or 0.26 percent, at 15,040.43
    * All of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Energy shares follow oil prices higher

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 16 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
to within 80 points of its record high on Monday as positive
investor sentiment spurred gains in its heavyweight financial
and energy sectors.
    Energy shares benefited as increasing violence in Iraq
pushed up the price of Brent crude oil. The energy group has
recorded the biggest gain of any major index sector in 2014.
    Sunni insurgents seized a mainly ethnic Turkmen city in
northwestern Iraq on Sunday after heavy fighting.
 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index, which has
climbed in 11 of the past 12 sessions, is up more than 10
percent this year.
    "The TSX is flying," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice
president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver. "The
global economy is on a firmer footing, and there's no huge
macroeconomic risk on the horizon."
    "It's a broad-based advance that bodes well for future
gains," he added.
    The market also awaited U.S. Federal Reserve comments on the
 direction of its bond-buying program and the prospect of rising
interest rates after it holds a policy meeting on Wednesday. 
    The central bank will continue to monitor the market
carefully and stay the course with its current plan of winding
down its monetary stimulus program, said Gavin Graham, chief
strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp.
    "You're going to see the Fed saying that they're going to
stick to what they're doing," he said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 38.82 points, or 0.26 percent, at 15,040.43.
It earlier hit 15,075.70, its highest level since June 18, 2008.
The index's record high is 15,154.77, reached on June 6 of that
year.
    All of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Monday.
    With the price of Brent crude oil hovering around $113 a
barrel, shares of energy producers climbed. Suncor Energy Inc
 gained 0.9 percent to C$46.75, and Enbridge Inc 
rose 0.9 percent to C$51.51.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.2 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia advancing 0.8
percent to C$71.07, and Toronto-Dominion Bank gaining
0.3 percent to C$54.33.

 (Editing by W Simon; and Peter Galloway)
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