(Adds portfolio manager quotes and updates prices)
* TSX closes up 32.73 points, or 0.21 percent, at 15,745.19
* Index posts its highest close since Feb. 23
* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups end higher
* West Fraser Timber shares close up 8.8 percent
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, April 25 Canada's main stock index
notched a two-month high on Tuesday, led by gains for
heavyweight financial and energy stocks, while shares of lumber
companies rallied after new U.S. import duties on the product
came out lower than some investors had expected.
The United States said it will impose preliminary
anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on imports of Canadian
softwood lumber, escalating a long-running trade dispute between
the two neighbors.
RBC analysts said the rates set were at the low end of their
20 percent to 30 percent expectation, while top Canadian
officials said the country will fight back against the tariffs
and win again.
Shares of West Fraser Timber Co Ltd, which would
pay the highest duty rate of the affected companies, rose 8.8
percent to 61.30, helped also by the release of
better-than-expected earnings after the close on Monday. Canfor
Corp stock gained 7.9 percent to C$19.61.
Gains for the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite
index came as improved risk appetite after the first
round of the French presidential election helped push global
"People saw what they were hoping to see at the weekend and
as a result the risk-on trade is back on in a big way," said Ian
Scott, equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.
Strong corporate earnings and anticipated announcement on
Wednesday of the Trump administration's tax overhaul added to
support for the market, Scott said.
The energy group climbed 1.5 percent, as oil broke its
recent losing streak, with Canadian Natural Resources
advancing 2.4 percent to C$45.33.
U.S. crude oil futures settled 33 cents higher at $49.56 a
The financials group gained 0.6 percent, led by a 1.0
percent gain for the country's largest bank, Royal Bank of
Canada, to C$97.03.
Shares of Metro Inc climbed 6.9 to C$45.18 after
the retailer met earnings expectations and upped its dividend.
The TSX closed up 32.73 points, or 0.21 percent, at
Seven of the index's 10 main groups ended higher, with the
materials sector down 2.5 percent as disappointing earnings from
two major miners offset the lumber company gains.
Barrick Gold Corp, the world's largest gold miner,
fell nearly 11.0 percent to C$22.89, after reporting
weaker-than-expected earnings and as gold prices fell to
a two-week low.
Teck Resources Ltd fell 2.5 percent to C$28.84
after North America's largest producer of steelmaking coal
reported lower-than-expected profit due to higher costs, lower
production and sales volumes.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by David
Gregorio and Bill Trott)