Canada close at 2-1/2-week high, led by financials

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index closed at a 2-1/2-week high on Wednesday, led by financials and industrials, with all sectors but technology posting gains.

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

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 84.57 points, or 0.55 percent, higher at 15,524.01, its strongest close since Feb. 2.

* Canadian stocks bucked a downward trend in global stocks that were driven lower by a stronger U.S. dollar and rising government bond prices after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January policy meeting showed confidence in the need to keep raising interest rates.

* The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major peers, rose 0.4 percent to 90.08. It advanced 0.4 percent to C$1.2702, its highest level this year versus the Canadian dollar.

* The global stocks benchmark lost 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 pulled back 0.55 percent.

* Despite a 0.47 percent retreat in gold futures, reversing an earlier increase, Kirkland Lake Gold, Guyana Goldfields and OceanaGold Corp retained their gains to be among the 10 biggest advancers on the Toronto exchange.

* The biggest gainer was logistics company TFI International, which advanced 10.5 percent after brokerages including Desjardins, Laurentian Bank Securities and Cowen & Co upgraded the company’s rating and target price after its better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

* Shopify Inc was the worst performer on the index, sliding 6.7 percent after it priced a $657.6 million share offering. It closed at a record high on Tuesday.

* Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Bombardier B, which closed down 1.8 percent at C$3.85, after touching its highest level since January 2015 earlier in the session, Element Fleet Management, which recovered 9.2 percent to C$4.75 after earlier hitting its lowest since July 2012, and Canopy Growth, down 2.9 percent at C$24.74.

* There were 182 advancing issues and 53 decliners, while 15 were flat.

Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Peter Cooney