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* TSX closes up 41.5 points, or 0.27 percent, at 15,562.41
* Index posts its highest close since March 7
* Five of the TSX's 10 main groups end higher
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, March 16 Canada's main stock index rose
on Thursday, led by gains for financials as bond yields rose,
while luxury parka maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc
gained on its stock market debut.
The winter outerwear company's shares ended at C$21.53, a
nearly 27 percent gain from its initial public offering price of
C$17 per share as it raised C$340 million.
Bond yields rebounded, lowering the value of insurance
companies' liabilities and increasing net interest margins of
banks. Yields tumbled on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve
raised U.S. interest rates but did not flag an accelerated pace
of monetary tightening.
The country's major banks were among the most influential
movers on the index, with Royal Bank of Canada gaining
0.7 percent to C$97.31, while the overall financials group
gained 0.4 percent.
The banks faced intensifying scrutiny on Wednesday after the
country's financial watchdog launched an investigation and
lawmakers called for a parliamentary inquiry following media
reports suggesting improper sales practices at certain banks.
The "oligopoly nature" of Canada's banking sector has
lessened some of the impact on banks' share prices, said Ian
Scott, equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.
Customers may be less inclined to move their business to
another bank after it became clear that the practices of more
than one bank are under scrutiny, he added.
Premium Brands Holdings Corp climbed 5.7 percent to
C$77.50 after reporting record fourth-quarter results and a 10.5
percent increase in its dividend.
It was "another consistent solid quarter," said Scott.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 41.5 points, or 0.27 percent, at 15,562.41,
its highest close since March 7.
The materials group, which includes miners and fertilizer
companies, added 0.2 percent as base and precious metal prices
Gold futures rose 2.2 percent to $1,226.1 an ounce
and copper prices advanced 0.8 percent to $5,908.85 a
Five of the index's 10 main groups ended higher. Energy was
among the sectors that did not advance, dipping slightly with
oil prices. U.S. crude prices settled 11 cents lower at
$48.75 a barrel.
Oil prices jumped on Wednesday after a dip in U.S. crude
inventories suggested OPEC-led output cuts were starting to
Foreign investment in Canadian securities dropped to its
lowest in more than a year in January, as non-residents bought
bonds while selling stocks and money market paper, Statistics
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by W Simon and James