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CANADA STOCKS-TSX nudges higher as National Bank rises, energy tempers gains
August 30, 2017 / 3:00 PM / 4 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX nudges higher as National Bank rises, energy tempers gains

* TSX up 27.23 points, or 0.18 percent, to 15,109.93

* Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups rise

* National Bank up 2.3 percent to C$56.67 after better than forecast earnings

TORONTO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Wednesday, led by National Bank and other bank stocks, but gains were offset by declines in energy stocks hurt by lower oil prices.

National Bank of Canada, which reported better than forecast quarterly results, was among the biggest positive drivers of the index, rising 2.3 percent to C$56.67. The overall financials group added 0.2 percent.

Oil and gas companies retreated 0.6 percent with energy names comprising four of the top five biggest drags on the index as lower oil prices weighed. Individual losses were modest, however, with Enbridge Inc slipping 0.5 percent to C$49.56.

Crude remained under pressure as historic flooding and damaging from Topical Storm Harvey shut more than 20 percent of U.S. refineries, curbing demand for oil, while raising the risk of fuel shortages. At 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 27.23 points, or 0.18 percent, to 15,109.93.

Energy was the lone decliner among the index’s 10 main groups.

Markets initially rattled by North Korea’s missile test launch over Japan calmed, and investors brushed aside concerns that tensions with the United States could be reignited following U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest comment that “talking is not the answer” when dealing with the reclusive state.

CAE Inc, which provides training for the aviation, defense and healthcare industries, rallied 4.6 percent to C$20.90 after Bank of Montreal raised its rating on the company to outperform from market perform. The move helped lift the industrials group 0.6 percent.

Prometic Life Sciences jumped another 13.3 percent to C$1.7, extended its previous session’s 25 percent surge after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the company a rare pediatric disease designation for its plasminogen replacement therapy. National Bank raised its price target on the company after the news.

The healthcare group rallied added 1.7 percent.

In economic data, Canada’s current account deficit widened in the second quarter of the year as the country’s international trade gap in goods expanded as imports rose, data from Statistics Canada showed. Economists said lower oil prices contributed to the widening trade deficit during the quarter.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 134 to 105, for a 1.28-to-1 ratio on the upside. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Bill Trott)

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