TSX rises as financials notch record high close

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday as the financial shares group, which accounts for about a third of the TSX’s weight, posted a record high close.

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 .GSPTSE, which had been closed on Monday for Canada's Thanksgiving holiday, closed up 42.04 points, or 0.27 percent, at 15,770.36.

The index, which touched intraday its highest since April 25 at 15,788.51, has climbed more than 5 percent since the current rally started just over a month ago.

The rally in oil prices “has been a key factor” behind the recent rise in the TSX, said Steve Belisle, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. “The other part is financials, especially the Canadian banks.”

Shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO climbed 0.9 percent to C$71.06 and Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO gained nearly 2 percent to C$25.93. The overall financials group ended up 0.6 percent, posting its highest-ever close at 299.31.

Investors had worried that a slowdown in the housing market would slow earnings growth for banks. But data on Tuesday showed that housing starts dipped less than expected in September, capping another quarter of strong home-building growth.

On the downside, Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc RBA.TO fell 6.4 percent to C$34.82 after several analysts cut their price targets on the company after it published its September auction metrics, which were lower than expected.

Online retail platform Shopify Inc SHOP.TO extended its slide, which began last week after short seller Citron Research made critical comments about the company.

Shopify shares fell 5.8 percent to C$115.76. The overall technology group eased 0.3 percent, one of just three groups to end lower.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled 2.7 percent higher at $50.92 a barrel, supported by Saudi Arabian export cuts in November.

Still, the energy group ended little changed.

Magna International Inc MG.TO advanced 2.1 percent to C$69.13. The auto parts producer said it had joined a consortium including BMW BMWG.DE and Intel Corp INTC.O to develop a self-driving vehicle platform for the use of automakers by 2020.

Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by W Simon and Peter Cooney