(New throughout, updates prices and market activity, adds
portfolio manager comments, details on energy stocks)
* TSX ends up 84.67 points, or 0.54 percent, at 15,669.07
* Index posts its highest close since Feb. 23
* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups end higher
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, April 4 Canada's main stock index
advanced on Tuesday to a nearly six-week high as gains in gold
and oil prices helped boost the shares of mining and energy
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 84.67 points, or 0.54 percent, at 15,669.07,
its highest close since Feb. 23.
Gains for the index came even as investors on Wall Street
stayed on the sidelines ahead of first-quarter earnings season
and remained cautious over President Donald Trump's ability to
deliver on promises such as tax reform.
"Today serves as a good example of just how attractive the
Canadian market is when global investors or domestic investors
look around the landscape," said James Robertson, managing
director, portfolio solutions group at Manulife Asset
"We are getting a synchronized global recovery ... Canada is
going to benefit from that overall economic growth."
Gold prices rose to a one-month high before paring some
gains as Trump laid out aggressive plans for infrastructure
spending and deregulation.
Expectations of a drawdown in U.S. crude and product
inventories helped oil prices push further above $50 a barrel.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.8 percent, while the
energy group climbed 1.5 percent.
Canadian Natural Resources rose nearly 2 percent to
C$44.62 and Pembina Pipeline Corp ended up 2.1 percent
at C$42.94 after announcing on Wednesday a dividend increase.
Seven of the index's 10 main groups ended higher, including
a 0.9 percent gain for industrials as railroad stocks rose,
while the heavyweight financial services group gained 0.2
Among the sectors that lost ground, consumer discretionary
fell 0.4 percent, pressured by a 3 percent drop in the shares of
automotive supplier Magna International Inc to C$54.45.
On Monday, major U.S. automakers' sales figures for March
came in below market expectations and gave early evidence that
America's long, robust boom cycle for car sales may finally be
U.S. crude prices settled up 79 cents at $51.03 a
barrel and gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,254.4 an
Canada swung to an unexpected trade deficit in February as
exports tumbled by the most in nearly a year, suggesting
economic momentum may have hit a speed bump and giving the Bank
of Canada room to maintain its cautious stance next week.
(Additional reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Meredith