TSX ends up 96.08 points, or 0.5%, at 20,725.00
Energy rises 2.8%; oil settles 4.1% higher
Lithium Americas climbs 9.9%
First Quantum Minerals rallies 7.3%
Feb 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on
Tuesday, tracking gains on Wall Street, as oil prices climbed
and investors rushed to increase their exposure to stocks after
comments by central bankers eased their worries about the
interest rate outlook.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended up 96.08 points, or 0.5%, at 20,725.00, moving
back in reach of its highest closing level in nearly eight
months which it notched last Tuesday at 20,767.38.
Major U.S. benchmarks, including the S&P 500, also closed
higher as comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell fed
investor hopes for less aggressive monetary policy.
"It feels like the TSX is following the move higher in the
S&P 500," said Greg Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose
"A lot of investors came into the year underexposed and
defensive, and things seem to be getting better faster than
everyone thought. It is causing people to cover and try and get
reinvested and that's causing a mini-melt up."
Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem also spoke, saying that
no further interest rate hikes will be needed if, as expected,
the economy stalls and inflation comes down.
The energy sector, which accounts for about 19% of the TSX's
weighting, rose 2.8% as the price of oil settled 4.1%
higher at $77.14 a barrel.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.8%. It was helped by a
9.9% jump in the shares of Lithium Americas Corp after
a favorable U.S. court ruling on the Thacker Pass lithium mine
First Quantum Minerals Ltd shares clawed back most
of the previous day's decline, rising 7.3%, and financials
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Shristi
Achar A and Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
Kuber and Jonathan Oatis)