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telecom stocks and updates prices)
* TSX closes up 29.34 points, or 0.19 percent, at 15,335.23
* Index climbs for sixth straight session
* Just four of the index's 10 main groups end higher
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Dec 22 Canada's benchmark stock index
climbed for the sixth straight session on Thursday, led by
energy and telecom shares, but stopped short of the 19-month
high it posted last week before the Federal Reserve raised U.S.
The market has been consolidating its gains since the Nov. 8
U.S. election, said Davis Rea Chief Strategist John Johnston,
who believes that technical indicators, the trend in corporate
earnings and the economic outlook point to higher stock prices
in the early part of 2017.
"Improving economic growth and relatively low inflation is a
good mix for most asset classes."
Domestic data showed that the annual inflation rate cooled
in November and October retail sales rose more than expected,
boding well for economic growth at the start of the fourth
Meanwhile, U.S. data showed that the economy grew at a 3.5
percent clip in the third quarter, its strongest in two
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 29.34 points, or 0.19 percent, at 15,335.23.
It has rallied nearly 18 percent this year and 4.6 percent
since the U.S. election, helped by the prospect of U.S. economic
stimulus and a recent OPEC agreement to cut oil production.
Last week it touched its highest since May 2015 at
The most influential gainers on the index included Suncor
Energy Inc, up 1.2 percent to C$44.49, and pipeline
company Enbridge Inc, which advanced 2 percent to
The energy group climbed 0.2 percent overall as oil prices
U.S. crude oil settled up 46 cents at $52.95 a
barrel, supported by strong U.S. economic data and optimism that
crude producers would abide by their agreement to limit output.
Canada's telecom regulator ruled late on Wednesday that
broadband internet access will be considered a basic service,
setting up a fund that providers will pay into to improve access
to high-speed services in rural and isolated areas of the
Telecoms climbed 0.9 percent, with Rogers Communications Inc
up 1.1 percent to C$52.06 and BCE Inc adding
1.2 percent to C$58.14.
Just four of the index's 10 main industry groups ended
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, was nearly unchanged.
Gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $1,128.5 an ounce.
Financials were also little changed as gains for some
heavyweight bank stocks were offset by declines for some major
insurers, with Manulife Financial Corp down 0.7 percent
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Phil
Berlowitz and James Dalgleish)