Toronto market gains for third day as resource shares climb

·1-min read
Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Monday as firmer commodity prices bolstered the energy and materials sectors, although concerns around rising U.S. bond yields kept sentiment in check.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 22.71 points, or 0.1%, at 21,878.41, adding to modest gains from last Wednesday and Thursday. The market was closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

Equity markets globally dipped 0.2% as bond yields climbed. Canada's 10-year yield touched its highest level in more than eight years at 2.800%.

"Markets are a little bit soft and that's around the world, not specific to Canada," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management. "The one thing that helped Canada is climbing commodity prices."

The energy sector was up 2.9%, supported by higher oil prices as outages in Libya deepened concern over tight global supply and the Ukraine crisis dragged on. U.S. crude oil futures settled 1.2% higher at $108.21 a barrel.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.8% as gold prices jumped to a more than one-month high.

"Gold once again is approaching $2,000 per ounce ... suggesting some investors are positioning defensively," Cieszynski said.

While most stock markets have been rattled by a surge in inflation and a possible economic slowdown, the TSX hit a record high earlier this month supported by surging commodity prices.

Among the sectors that lost ground was healthcare. It shed 5.1% with pot producers, including Canopy Growth Corp, among the top decliners.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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