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Aug 23, 2017

TSX rises as RBC leads financial gains

BNN's closing bell update: August 23, 2017

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Canada's benchmark stock index rose on Wednesday, after upbeat quarterly results from Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) helped lift financial stocks, and higher oil prices gave oil and gas companies a boost.

RBC's stock rose 1.1 per cent to $93.01 after it kicked off the country's banking earnings season with double-digit growth at its wealth management business, which offset a weaker showing in its capital markets unit.

Rivals reporting over the next week made smaller gains, with the heavyweight financials group gaining 0.5 per cent overall.

"The best thing about Royal is there was absolutely no evidence at all of bad credit conditions," said David Baskin, portfolio manager and president of Baskin Financial Services.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index finished up 78.20 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 15,063.16. Six of its 10 main sectors were higher.

Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) topped the list of companies that had the biggest impact on the index, rising two per cent to $51.18. TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) was not far behind, with a 1.1 per cent climb to $63.31.

Energy stocks, which account for some 20 per cent of the TSX's weight, finished up 1.1 per cent alongside oil prices that bounced on data showing U.S. crude inventories fell for the eighth straight week. An approaching storm along the Gulf Coast also raised the possibility of output disruptions.

Baskin said further oil gains would likely be capped due to the ability for U.S. producers to quickly bring on additional supply as prices rise.

Interest-rate sensitive utilities stocks added 0.9 percent, with Fortis Inc (FTS.TO) up 1.1 per cent at $45.82.

Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO) finished 3.7 per cent higher at $7.49 and Cominar REIT (CUF_u.TO) jumped 5.2 per cent to $13.46 after analysts at Bank of Montreal raised their price targets and recommendations on the stocks.

The overall materials group, home to mining and other resource firms, gained 0.6 per cent.

Industrial stocks were off a modest 0.1 per cent, but losses were tempered by Air Canada (AC.TO), which advanced 3.8 per cent to $23.92. Canada's largest airline announced a new Montreal-Tokyo non-stop flight service.