CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits six-year high after Fed comments, nears record

Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:46pm EDT

* TSX up 53.36 points, or 0.35 percent, at 15,109.25
    * Eight of the 10 main index sectors higher
    * Resource shares lead the way, TSX touches six-year high

 (Adds quote, updates prices)
    TORONTO, June 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
reached its highest level in six years on Wednesday and came
within striking distance of its all-time high after the U.S.
Federal Reserve shed some light on its plans to raise interest
rates.
    The U.S. central bank suggested interest rate increases
could happen at a faster pace next year but noted benchmark
borrowing costs would in the long-run be lower than earlier
indicated. 
    The commentary lifted the price of bullion and sent
gold-mining shares up 2.5 percent. That helped the Toronto Stock
Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index close up 53.36
points, or 0.35 percent, at 15,109.25.
    The benchmark, which has climbed in 13 of the last 14
sessions, is up almost 11 percent this year and has outperformed
most major stock indexes. It is not far from its record high of
15,154.77, set in June 2008.
    "We think that the market is rising on a fair degree of
complacency and expectations that trees will grow to the sky,"
said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada, who views
share prices as expensive.
    "There are a number of uncertainties that the market has
overlooked. There will come a catalyst that can trigger a
(decline)," he added.
    The TSX's heavily weighted energy sector, which was up 0.3
percent, has helped fuel the broader market's rise as the
deepening crisis in Iraq has driven oil prices higher.
    Brent crude rose above $114 a barrel as Sunni militants
continued their advance in northern Iraq. 
    In the index's energy group, Talisman Energy rose
0.5 percent to C$11.53, while Canadian Natural Resources
 gained 0.5 percent to C$47.59.
    Among gold-mining shares, Goldcorp Inc jumped 3.9
percent to C$28.30, and Barrick Gold Corp added 1.8
percent to C$18.88.
    BlackBerry Ltd jumped 3 percent to C$9 after it
agreed to a licensing deal with Amazon.com Inc that
will let the smartphone maker offer some 240,000 Android
applications from Amazon's app store on its line-up of
BlackBerry 10 devices this fall..
    Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc said it began an
exchange offer for Botox maker Allergan Inc, taking its
hostile $50.8 billion bid directly to shareholders. Valeant
shares slipped 0.4 percent to C$128.53. 
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Reporting by Cameron French and John Tilak; Editing by Peter
Galloway and Meredith Mazzilli)
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