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Dec 11, 2017

TSX inches up as oil prices lift energy stocks

BNN's closing bell update: December 11, 2017

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Canada's main stock index inched higher on Monday, boosted by gains for energy stocks as oil prices rose and by rising miners and other materials stocks, while banks and railway stocks weighed.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 7.44 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 16,103.51.

Half of the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory, with advancers just outnumbering decliners overall.

The energy group, which accounts for almost a fifth of the index's weight, climbed 0.6 per cent, with Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) up one per cent to $44.69 as oil prices rose.

Brent crude rallied more than U.S. oil after the shutdown of the pipeline that carries the biggest of the five North Sea crude oil streams that underpin the benchmark.

Potash Corp (POT.TO) was up 1.9 per cent to $24.78 and Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) added 1.7 per cent to $138.84 as the two fertilizer companies move closer to a merger.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.5 per cent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) jumped 5.3 per cent to $15.90 after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stocks to a "buy" recommendation.

The heavyweight financials groups fell 0.3 per cent, with the country's biggest banks among its heaviest weights, while industrials lost 0.4 per cent as Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO) lost 1.2 per cent to $228.90.

Prometic Life Sciences Inc (PLI.TO) ended up 6.3 per cent to $1.35 after a British health regulator gave one of its drugs a promising designation.

Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) added 3.3 per cent to $133.80 after the commerce software company was added to several S&P/TSX sub-indices.

Several gold miners gained after Desjardins recommended them as "buy" stocks, with Iamgold Corp (IMG.TO) up 3.4 per cent to $6.72 and Detour Gold Corp (DGC.TO) adding one per cent to $12.90.

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