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CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index up on boost from energy, mining shares

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  • CNQ

(Updates prices, adds analyst comment)

By Amal S

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Canada's commodity-heavy main stock index rose on Thursday, riding on gains in gold and oil prices, while upbeat earnings from Canadian Natural Resources and encouraging economic data added to an upbeat mood.

At 9:42 a.m. ET (13:42 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 40.71 points, or 0.19%, at 21,305.81, after hitting a record high of 21,353.05 at the open.

The energy sector gained 2.3%, snapping a two-day losing streak, as oil prices jumped nearly 2%, lifted by expectations that OPEC and its allies will stick to slow output increases.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd jumped 1.9% after the oil and gas producer reported a third-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates, and said it would increase its dividend.

"We've had some positives in the commodities with energy stocks doing well, so it could set up for another positive day for Canada. But at the same time, the market had a really good run here, so it might be time for a bit of a pause," said Gregory Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.

Investor sentiment was also boosted by a smooth start to the U.S. Federal Reserve's mass stimulus unwind plan.

Meanwhile the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.9% as gold futures rose 1.4% to $1,788.8 an ounce.

On the economic front, the country posted a trade surplus of C$1.86 billion ($1.50 billion) in September as imports fell faster than exports, Statistics Canada said.

HIGHLIGHTS

Miner Barrick Gold Corp, gained 2.6% despite reporting an 18% drop in third-quarter profit from the prior three-month period.

Children's entertainment company Spin Master Corp and apparel maker Gildan Activewear Inc were the biggest percentage gainers on the index.

The TSX posted 16 new 52-week highs and no new lows.

Across all Canadian issues there were 108 new 52-week highs and 14 new lows, with total volume of 40.43 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)