By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday to its highest closing level in nearly six weeks as investors welcomed upbeat company earnings, including results from Imperial Oil IMO.TOand Air Canada AC.TO.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 119.08 points, or 0.6%, at 19,471.19.
That was the index’s sixth straight day of gains, the longest winning streak since May, and its highest closing level since Sept. 19. For the week, the index was up 3.2%.
Wall Street also moved higher as encouraging economic data and a rosier earnings outlook boosted investor risk appetite ahead of an interest rate decision next week by the Federal Reserve.
Domestic data showed the economy grew slightly more than expected in August and most likely stayed in positive territory through the summer, a result that did not change expectations for another smaller interest rate hike in December by the Bank of Canada.
“With the exception of the big technology earnings, generally speaking, earnings season has been pretty good this year so far,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.
Imperial Oil Ltdshares surged 9.1% after the company reported a jump in third-quarter profit on the back of higher energy prices.
Shares of Air Canadaended 3.7% higher after the carrier said its quarterly revenue more than doubled as it flew more people.
Among the leading sectors were technology and consumer discretionary, which rose 1.9% and 1.6% respectively.
In contrast, the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.9% as gold and copper prices fell.
Communication stocks were also a drag, with shares of Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO falling 0.7% and Shaw Communications SJRb.TO down 6.3% after the companies failed to mediate their differences with Canada’s competition bureau over a merger deal.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Josie Kao)
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