TSX extends 17-month high helped by miners, banks

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index gained in morning trade on Tuesday, extending a 17-month high as base metal mining and banking shares rose.

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The most influential gainers included Teck Resources Ltd, which rose 3.3 percent to C$33.07, and First Quantum Minerals Ltd, which jumped 4 percent to C$15.39.

Prices for copper, which both companies mine, rallied 2 percent to a one-week high, powered by signs of tighter supply and increased Chinese demand and as investors broadly bet on rising U.S. inflation. [MET/L]

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.2 percent as gold miners and fertilizer stocks fell.

Barrick Gold Corp shed 1.8 percent to C$20.30 and Potash Corp fell 1.5 percent to C$24.13.

At 10:13 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 32.85 points, or 0.22 percent, at 15,072.72. Half of its 10 main groups were higher.

The financials group gained 0.4 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada up 0.9 percent at C$89.77 and Toronto-Dominion Bank adding 0.5 percent to C$63.63.

The sector has made sharp gains since the U.S. presidential election victory of Donald Trump, whose economic policies are expected to bolster economic growth and stoke inflation. Banks are seen as likely beneficiaries of a rising interest rate environment.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd gained 1.9 percent to C$616.20. The firm’s Chief Executive Prem Watsa said earlier this month it had reduced its famously bearish outlook in light of Trump’s victory.

The energy group retreated 0.2 percent, even as oil prices hit their highest level this month as a growing market consensus emerged that OPEC would overcome internal disputes and scepticism to strike a deal materially reducing crude output. [O/R]

Industrials rose 0.3 percent. Shares in Bombardier Inc advanced 1.1 percent to C$1.89. The plane and train maker said it won an eight-year contract valued at C$331 million ($247 million) from Montreal’s regional transport authority.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli