TSX ends higher as heavy-weight sectors drive gains

* TSX ends up 0.2% at 22,112.46

* Materials group adds 1.9%

* Gold climbs to new record high

* Energy rises 1.5%; oil settles at 5-month high

April 3 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index rose on
Wednesday, including gains for resource and financial shares, as
commodity prices climbed and U.S. economic data supported bets
the Federal Reserve would begin lowering interest rates over the
coming months.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
ended up 37.36 points, or 0.2%, at 22,112.46, staying
in touch with the record closing high it posted on Monday at
22,185.25.

“This is a classic TSX rally in that you’ve got the miners
rallying, precious metals in particular, you’ve got energy
rallying and you got the financials rallying,” said Philip
Petursson, chief investment strategist at IG Wealth Management.

“This isn’t a fluke. This is driven by fundamentals and
these fundamentals can continue for a while yet.”

Combined, the energy, materials and financial sectors
account for roughly 60% of the Toronto market’s weighting.

The materials sector, which includes metal miners and
fertilizer companies, rose 1.9% as copper prices climbed and
gold moved to a fresh record high.

“Gold is finally responding to not only inflation but the
expectation for lower real interest rates,” Petursson said.

Bond yields eased after data showed U.S. services industry
growth eased further in March, suggesting inflation is slowing.

Energy added 1.5% as the price of oil settled at a
five-month high, rising 0.3% to $85.43 a barrel, while
financials ended up 0.2%.

Lightspeed Commerce shares gained 5.5% after the
payments company announced 280 job cuts, looking to turn
profitable.

Professional services firm WSP Global was a drag,
falling 5.4%, after short-seller Spruce Point Capital Management
shorted the stock.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and Purvi Agarwal in
Bengaluru; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar and Costas Pitas)

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