CANADA STOCKS-TSX up for 3rd straight month on energy, bank share gains

Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:00pm EDT

* TSX up 67.56 pts, or 0.43 pct, at 15,625.73
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors rise
    * Suncor, Canadian Natural gain with oil prices

 (Recasts with move, adds details, quote, byline, updates
prices)
    By John Tilak and Leah Schnurr
    TORONTO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Friday, capping its third straight month of gains as higher
energy and financial shares helped offset investor nervousness
over geopolitical tensions.
    Adding to positive sentiment, data showed the Canadian
economy recorded better-than-expected growth, to an annualized
3.1 percent in the second quarter, from a downwardly revised 0.9
percent in the first quarter. 
    Energy shares led the way higher, alongside a rise in oil
prices, as worries that the Ukraine crisis could trigger more
sanctions lifted the commodity.
    The resource-heavy benchmark TSX recovered from weakness
early in the day to finish up for both the third week and month
in a row. The index is up about 14 percent this year.
    "It's a nice way to cap the summer," said Elvis Picardo,
strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities
in Vancouver. "Sentiment is robust, but investors are nervous
about the upsurge in geopolitical risk," he added.
    "We could be in for a period where the market trades
sideways and investors digest these gains. Investors are bracing
themselves for a higher degree of volatility as volumes return
to normal levels next week."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 rose 67.56 points, or 0.43 percent, to 15,625.73.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The index gained 1.9 percent for August and 0.6 percent for
the week.
    In addition to concerns about tensions between Ukraine and
Russia as Ukraine called for full NATO membership, Britain
raised its terrorism alert to its second-highest
level.  
    Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management, said
investors did not seem to be taking concerns about tensions
around the world seriously enough.
    "The consensus trade seems to be, 'I can buy equities with
immunity because the economy is improving and rates are staying
depressed,'" he said. "I would argue that you're at risk of a
geopolitical event, whether it is Ukraine or the Middle East,
that could have dire consequences for the global economy." 
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.3 percent, with Bank of Montreal up 0.8 percent at  
C$83.66, and Bank of Nova Scotia rising 0.5 percent to
C$72.04.
    Canadian Natural Resources provided the index with
the biggest lift, up 1.4 percent at C$47.39, followed by Suncor
Energy, which rose 1 percent to C$44.63.
    Athabasca Oil Corp jumped 4.4 percent to C$7.92
after it said it had closed the sale of its 40 percent interest
in the Dover oil sands project. 

 (Editing by Tom Brown)
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