Canada’s main stock index rallied on Monday, powered in part by Royal Bank of Canada , which helped the heavily weighted financial stocks, and energy gains fueled by a jump in oil prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 91.59 points, or 0.59 percent, at 15,629.47.All of the index’s 10 main groups advanced.”On balance, we think the market will saw-tooth its way higher to the end of the year,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.Royal Bank of Canada was by far the most influential stock on the index, and advanced 1.2 percent to C$93.62. It was followed by Toronto Dominion Bank, which rose 0.9 percent to C$63.67.
“Good quality dividend-paying stocks are relatively attractive compared to the bond market,” said Michael.The overall financials group gained 0.8 percent. Home Capital Group Inc gave up most of its gains during the session after Reuters reported that Canada’s largest non-bank lender may need to draw down more from a high-interest credit facility in order to meet a debt repayment due next week. Its shares came off an intraday gain of 12.8 percent to finish up 0.3 percent at C$9.17.
Energy stocks climbed 1.1 percent on the back of oil prices that touched their strongest level in more than three weeks on Monday after Saudi Arabia and Russia supported an extension of supply cuts into 2018. Canada’s energy sector is sensitive to the global price of oil. U.S. crude prices were up 1.9 percent to $48.76 a barrel.Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 1.5 percent to C$42.89, while Suncor Energy Inc was up 0.9 percent at C$43.85.
Canada’s two biggest rail operators were also influential gainers, helping lift the industrials group by 0.9 percent. Canadian National Railway Co climbed 1.3 percent to C$103, while Canadian Pacific Railway added 2.1 percent to finish at C$217.47.On the downside, news that Eldorado Gold Corp will buy Integra Gold Corp sent Eldorado’s shares down 7.8 percent to C$4.61, tempering some of the materials group’s 0.3 percent gain.Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 176 to 72, for a 2.44-to-1 ratio on the upside.The index was posting 12 new 52-week highs and one new low.