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* TSX ends up 58.92 points, or 0.37 percent, at 15,844.95
* Index posts new record close
* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups rise
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO, Feb 15 Canada's benchmark stock index
rose for the seventh straight day on Wednesday to a record high
close, led by gains for its financial services group after
strong economic data from both Canada and the United States.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended up 58.92 points, or 0.37 percent, at 15,844.95,
a record close.
"People are trying to run with the herd and I guess the big
danger is that when you run with the herd you might get trampled
at some point," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung
The index has rallied more than 37 percent since hitting a
three-year trough in January last year.
"One's got to be very conscious of valuation and what
they're paying for securities," Sprung said.
Data showed Canada's manufacturing sales jumped in December
for the second month in a row, and that U.S. inflation and
retail sales climbed in January, helping to push bond yields
Higher bond yields, which reduce the value of insurance
companies' liabilities and increase banks' net interest margins,
have helped underpin financials since the U.S. presidential
election on Nov. 8, with the sector up more than 14 percent in
Royal Bank of Canada rose 1.1 percent to C$98.53,
while the overall financials group climbed 0.8 percent.
"We are just coming into a bank reporting season. We may see
dividend increases but nevertheless I think people have been
pretty complacent about the banks," said Sprung.
Energy shares gained 0.7 percent as oil mostly held its
ground after U.S. stockpiles soared to a record high.
U.S. crude prices settled 9 cents lower at $53.11 a
Nine of the index's 10 main groups rose.
The telecoms group climbed 1.8 percent, led by a 5.1 percent
gain for Manitoba Telecom Services Inc to C$39.52 after
Canada's business competition watchdog asked BCE Inc to
divest some assets to gain approval of its deal to buy the
Industrials added 0.9 percent, with CAE Inc
climbing 6.6 percent to C$20.24 after Desjardins raised its
target price and rating on the stock.
Teck Resources Ltd reported a
better-than-expected quarterly profit, but weaker demand at the
start of the year spooked investors.
Its shares plunged more than 10 percent to C$29.32, while
the materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.2 percent even as copper
and gold prices rose.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Tom Brown and David