Energy, miners power TSX to near record, oil leaps 3 percent

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index bounced higher to within points of a fresh record on Monday as a 3 percent surge in crude prices sent energy companies rallying, while higher bullion prices helped gold miners shine.

The Toronto Stock Exchange sign is seen in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Gold company Franco Nevada Corp was the most influential positive stock, rising 5.8 percent to C$107.46 after reporting stronger-than-forecast results. First Quantum Minerals Ltd also provided a solid boost, leaping 7.2 percent to C$15.94.

The materials group, home to mining and other resource firms, rose 1.5 percent, as a softer greenback and geopolitical uncertainties sent investors to safe-haven assets. The price of gold was up more than 1 percent.

Oil and gas stocks accounted for some 50 points on the index’s positive side with more than a dozen energy names jumping more than 4 percent.

Canadian Natural Resources was up 1.6 percent to C$46.74, while Cenovus Energy soared 5.2 percent to C$14.27. Encana Corp rose 4.3 percent to C$16.43.

The overall group rallied 2.5 percent as oil prices touched their highest level since July 2015 amid market tightening and after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman solidified his power with the arrest of royals, ministers and investors in an anti-corruption crackdown. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter.

“We’ve had an injection with higher energy prices, particularly the spike up today on the Saudi purge,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada, adding that signs of stronger global economic growth was also a positive.

“Some of the inflation sensitive sectors have been very strong, so higher commodity prices, higher energy prices bode well for the Canadian market.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index finished 72.04 points, or 0.45 percent higher, to end at 16,092.20.

The index, which marked its eighth-straight week of gains on Friday, a win-streak not seen in nearly 12 years, finished just shy of the 16,105.88 record set last week.

Of the TSX’s 10 main groups, six were in positive territory.

Utilities gained 0.8 percent, while the healthcare was up 5.0 percent.

Canopy growth Co extended its recent rally over its strategic deal with Constellation Brands inc, jumping 14.4 percent to C$19.37.

Air Canada was among the few notable decliners, falling 3.6 percent to C$24.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 156 to 88, for a 1.77-to-1 ratio on the upside.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Sandra Maler