(New throughout, updates prices and market activity and adds
portfolio manager comments)
* TSX closes up 4.98 points, or 0.03 percent, at 15,421.91
* Five of the TSX's 10 main groups rise
* Volumes lowest since July, 2015
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, May 29 Canada's main stock index edged
higher on Monday in light trading volume, as gains for several
big banks that reported earnings last week offset losses for
The financials group, which had been pressured recently by
investor concerns about the country's potentially overvalued
real estate market and elevated levels of household debt, gained
"I think you have to go back to the fundamentals of the
Canadian banks," said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer,
Sun Life Global Investments.
"They don't really need to see a massive amount of growth
... their balance sheets are good for them to continue on with
their dividend yields and even for them to increase that
Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.6 percent to C$94.47 and
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce gained 0.8 percent to
Bank of Nova Scotia, which is due to report its
earnings on Tuesday, ended up 0.3 percent at C$76.12.
The gains were offset by losses for some gold mining stocks
even as the price of the precious metal held near a
Goldcorp Inc lost 1.2 percent to C$18.25, while the
energy group dipped 0.1 percent even as oil prices rose. U.S.
crude prices were up 0.4 percent at $49.99 a barrel.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 4.98 points, or 0.03 percent, at 15,421.91.
Five of the index's 10 main groups ended higher.
Volumes were the lowest since July 3, 2015. Markets in
China, the United States and Britain were closed for public
The TSX rose 17.5 percent in 2016. But it has gained less
than 1 percent this year, lagging most other major markets.
Delays to U.S. stimulus and an uncertain outlook for the
North American Free Trade agreement have added to headwinds for
the index, Adatia said.
Bombardier rose 3.6 percent to C$2.33. BMO Capital upgraded
the stock to outperform from market perform after it said on
Friday it delivered its first CS300 aircraft to customer Swiss
International Air Lines AG.
The broader industrials group gained 0.3 percent, with
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd up 0.4 percent to C$214.49.
Its rival, Canadian National Railway Co, faces the
threat of a strike on Tuesday morning after the railroad
announced new work rules in the midst of negotiations to replace
a contract that expired last year. Its stock was
off 0.3 percent at C$103.38.
(Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by James
Dalgleish and David Gregorio)