TSX climbs to five-week high led by financials and energy

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index posted its highest close in five weeks on Wednesday, boosted by gains for its heavyweight financial and energy groups as oil prices rose and the Canadian dollar retreated for a third straight day.

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 63.53 points, or 0.42 percent, at 15,265.63, its highest close since June 28.

“The price of oil has stabilized and the TSX is percolating up nicely,” said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets Canada. “We are seeing gains that are quite broad based across a number of companies and a number of sectors.”

Eight of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.

The financials group, which accounts for more than a third of the index’s weight, gained 0.5 percent.

Shares of Genworth MI Canada Inc advanced 3.5 percent to C$37.48 after the private-sector residential mortgage insurer reported quarterly earnings that sharply exceeded analyst expectations.

The country’s biggest banks were also among the most influential gainers, with Royal Bank of Canada up 0.8 percent at C$94.12.

Higher oil prices helped boost energy shares. Top gainers included oil services company Gibson Energy Inc, which jumped 5.8 percent to C$17.26 after saying it planned to sell its U.S. environmental services business.

Suncor Energy Inc rose nearly 2 percent to C$41.15, while U.S. crude oil prices settled 0.9 percent higher at $49.59 a barrel on surging U.S. fuel demand.

Adding to support for stocks, the Canadian dollar, which touched on Thursday its strongest intraday level in more than two years, extended this week’s losses.

The currency’s pullback provides some relief for the country’s exporters, Cieszynski said.

Industrials rose 0.6 percent as railroad stocks gained ground and Bombardier Inc added to its gains since reporting on Friday its first quarterly profit in two years. The company’s shares ended up 5.5 percent at C$2.67, the highest close since Jan. 19.

The consumer discretionary group added 0.5 percent.

Restaurant Brands International Inc advanced 1.0 percent to C$74.97, helped by higher revenue at its Burger King group.

But movie theater chain Cineplex fell 8.2 percent to C$45.43 after reporting a big profit miss, hurt by higher costs and lower attendance.

The technology group pared some of Tuesday’s sharp gains, falling 0.9 percent. CGI Group Inc fell 3.2 percent to C$64.26 after it missed profit estimates on lower margins and bookings as well as weakness in its European business.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by W Simon and James Dalgleish