TSX rises as energy shares gain, Cenovus jumps

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index eked out a small gain on Thursday, as higher oil prices broadly boosted energy stocks and Cenovus Energy Inc soared after saying asset sales could exceed its estimates, while Goldcorp Inc weighed as its earnings disappointed.

Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 19.97 points, or 0.13 percent, at 15,191.36, with advancers and decliners evenly matched overall.

Goldcorp’s fall, ending down 6.2 percent at C$16.07 as production at several sites missed expectations, bucked the trend among gold miners, a string of whom rose on positive earnings surprises.

Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s largest gold miner by production, rose 2.9 percent to C$20.76, as investors cheered the news it had produced more gold than expected and lowered its costs.

Other rising bullion stocks included Detour Gold Corp, which surged 13.3 percent to C$15.66 as its profit beat estimates, and Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd, up 6.1 percent at C$12.46 after doubling its estimate of reserves at one of its sites.

Energy stocks were up 2 percent overall, with crude jumping to near eight-week highs as a much steeper than expected decline in U.S. inventories encouraged hopes the global crude glut would recede. [O/R]

Peter Imhof, a portfolio manager at AGF Investments, said Canadian energy stocks were still lagging recent gains in crude prices, in part weighed by a rising Canadian dollar.

Cenovus jumped 9.5 percent to C$10.89 after reporting a profit versus a year-ago loss and providing the divestiture update.

“That stock has been oversold the most because there was a terrible financing that happened” that led to a selloff, with the good news on the day providing the impetus for a bounceback, Imhof said.

West Fraser Timber Co Ltd gained 5.1 percent to C$65.84 after acquiring U.S. assets.

Uranium miner Cameco Corp gained 3.3 percent to C$12.96 after saying it had settled a U.S. tax dispute for a fraction of the original claim, which helped investors look past the company reporting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Paul Simao and Chris Reese