TSX gains with oil stocks, Empire; miners weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday as higher oil prices drove gains by energy companies, offsetting losses for miners after the value of copper and other base metals fell.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Empire Co, the parent company of the Sobeys grocery chain, soared 12.1 percent to C$22.13 after reporting adjusted earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations.

The energy group climbed 1.3 percent with Encana Corp adding 3.6 percent to C$12.85 and Suncor Energy Inc advancing 1.1 percent to C$41.41.

U.S. crude prices gained 1.5 percent to $50.04 a barrel after the International Energy Agency said a global oil surplus was shrinking. [O/R]

At 9:59 a.m. ET (1359 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 25.79 points, or 0.17 percent, at 15,152.60.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.3 percent, with Teck Resources falling 2.6 percent to C$26 and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd down 4.1 percent to C$4.17.

Copper prices hit a four-week low as disappointing data from China pointed to slowing demand from the metal’s top consumer.

Other base metal prices also slipped.

Eldorado Gold Corp fell 0.4 percent to C$2.78 after the miner received an arbitration notice from Greece.

Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 0.2 percent at C$67.19 after the U.S. Federal Reserve approved its acquisition of Scottrade Financial Services, as expected.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd moved up 1.0 percent to C$193.63 and Canadian National Railway Co added 0.5 percent to C$98.54, a day after both operators spoke optimistically about grain volumes for the rest of the year.

Six of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Edotomg by W Simon