TSX hits 14-week high, recoups summer losses in broad rally

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rallied to a 14-week high on Wednesday, propelled by energy and financial stocks, as well as a surge in Air Canada shares after investors cheered the airliner’s outlook.

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

BlackBerry Ltd BB.TO stock also leaped, adding 8.6 percent to finish at C$12.15 after the company and auto supplier Delphi Automotive Plc announced they were partnering on a software system for self-driving cars. The overall technology group eked out a 0.1 percent gain.

Energy stocks jumped 2.5 percent as the sector profited from higher oil prices after Iraq’s oil minister suggested more output cuts were possible. Oil prices were on course for their largest third-quarter gain in 13 years, with the U.S. crude settling at $50.41 a barrel, up 1.9 percent.

Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rose 2.4 percent to C$41.44, while Encana Corp ECA.TO advanced 4.5 percent to C$13.69.

Financial services stocks, which make up an outsized third of the index’s weight, gained 0.7 percent, though individual bank stocks were mostly under 1 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE touched its highest level since June 12, ending up 96.63 points, or 0.63 percent, to 15,389.60 with materials the index's only major group to lose ground.

The index has recouped its summer losses, rebounding 2.7 percent since its trough 1-1/2 weeks ago.

“People have come to the conclusion that the Bank of Canada is not raising rates in October and that’s probably also giving the TSX a little bit of a boost,” said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer, at Sun Life Global Investments.

“I do think TSX will give back as the effects of the couple of interest rates that we’ve had this year start to get into the system.”

Air Canada stocks AC.TO soared 10.8 percent to C$25.84 after several analysts raised their target prices and ratings on the airline following its update of its 2018 to 2020 financial goals. The broader industrials group rose 1.3 percent.

The materials group lost 0.6 percent, with gold miners the index's biggest drags. Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO was down 2 percent at C$20.31, while Kinross Gold Corp K.TO gave up 3.6 percent to end at C$5.35.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 161 to 80, for a 2.01-to-1 ratio on the upside.

Eleven companies on the index posted a new 52-week highs, while two posted new lows.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama