TSX ekes out fifth day of gains as gold strength offsets oil slump

·2 min read
The Toronto Stock Exchange sing is seen in Toronto

By Nichola Saminather

(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index inched up to eke out its fifth day of gains on Thursday, lifted by strength in industrials, miners and technology firms that helped counterbalance declines in energy producers.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 42.18 points, or 0.22%, at 19,062.85.

The gains were more muted than on Wall Street, where strong corporate earnings continued to lift stocks.

"Big U.S. corporations are reporting results right now," said Brian Madden, chief investment officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel. "That hasn't really started just yet in Canada, so there's not much information coming out."

Gold, which has been throttled in the last few months by "relentless strength" in the U.S. dollar, received a reprieve from the European Central Bank's bigger-than-expected interest rate hike, he added.

"The U.S. dollar is weakening today with the rate hikes in Europe, so that may be putting a bit of enthusiasm back into the gold trade."

Precious metals producers including Pan American Silver Corp, K92 Mining and Osisko Mining were among the biggest gainers on the Toronto index. Spot gold was up 1.4% at 2029 GMT.

The industrials subindex posted the biggest gain in Toronto, climbing 1.4%. It was lifted by Mullen Group, which handily beat estimates for second-quarter profit, and was the day's best performer.

The energy sector fell 2.15%, dragged down by a 5.7% slump in crude prices on higher U.S. gasoline stockpiles and returning supply from Libya and Russia, and after the ECB's rate hike stoked demand concerns. [O/R]

The healthcare sector, dominated by cannabis stocks, was the biggest decliner, falling 2.7%. rose 1.3%

Rogers Communications Inc rose 0.5% on appointing Ron McKenzie as its new chief technology and information officer, weeks after an unprecedented outage at one of Canada's biggest telecom operators shut banking, transport and government access for millions.

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Additional reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Jonathan Oatis)

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