TSX notches 11-day high as financials, energy climb

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index edged up on Monday to its highest close in 11 days as financial and energy shares climbed, while mining stocks weighed as lower Chinese economic growth targets contributed to a softening in prices for metals.

A TMX Group sign, the company that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), is seen in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

China, which is copper’s biggest consumer, cut its growth target this year as the world’s second-largest economy pushes through painful reforms to address a rapid build-up in debt and erects a “firewall” against financial risks. Copper prices fell to a more than one-week low.[MET/L]

“The base materials after a pretty healthy upside move are starting to digest that little change in economic projection out of China and clearly material stocks don’t like the threat of a higher interest rate environment,” said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management.

Gold fell for the third straight session, pressured by comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that reinforced expectations of an increase in U.S. interest rates this month. [GOL/]

Losses for base metal miners came as the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s conference took place.

“When there are 30,000 global mining investors all in Toronto having a few cocktails and meeting with companies it basically removes the buyers from the marketplace temporarily,” said Skipp.

First Quantum Minerals FM.TO fell 2.9 percent to C$14.82 and Teck Resources Ltd TECKb.TO declined 2.5 percent to C$26.63, while the materials group, which includes miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.9 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 21.25 points, or 0.14 percent, at 15,629.75, its highest close since Feb. 23.

The index has gained 2.2 percent this year after climbing 17.5 percent in 2016. In February, it posted a record high of 15,943.09.

Six of the index’s 10 main groups ended in positive territory, with financials gaining 0.5 percent and energy climbing 0.8 percent even as oil prices fell.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled 13 cents lower at $53.20 a barrel after the International Energy Agency forecast potential shale oil growth and waning European refined product demand. [O/R]

Northland Power Inc NPI.TO rose 4.6 percent to C$24.79. The utility said on Friday it had agreed to buy a 252 MW German offshore wind farm.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO extended recent losses, falling 4.7 percent to C$16.66. The company plans to line up a $3.06 bln incremental term loan as part of a debt restructuring, sources said.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp Editing by W Simon and Tom Brown