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The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index gained 13.02 point, or 0.09 percent, to close at 13,788.21 points. Five of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors were higher.

Traded StocksOil prices rose Wednesday as a report showed U.S. crude supplies of last week lost 3.4 million barrels to 540 million barrels, adding to concerns about global crude output disruption in Canada due to the wildfire in its oil sands region.

Market participants are closely watching for the prospect of further restarts by Canadian oil sands producers near wildfire-ravaged Fort McMurray as some companies began slowly bringing operations back online.

The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery moved up 1.57 U.S. dollars to settle at 46.23 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for July delivery increased 2.08 dollars to close at 47.6 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

TSX energy and mining groups were higher 1.00 percent and 5.40 percent respectively. The most significant advancers included Encana Corporation, up 13.40 percent to 8.97 Canadian dollars (6.98 U.S. dollars), and First Quantum Minerals Ltd., up 8.21 percent to 9.23 Canadian dollars.

Gold plays fluctuated, with a 5.73 percent fall in the shares of Kinross Gold Corporation to 6.74 Canadian dollars after the company reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as the world’s fifth-biggest gold miner struggled with lower realized gold prices.

Financials went up, including a 0.77 percent advance in the shares of Sun Life Financial Inc. to 43.14 Canadian dollars. The company reported a 13 percent increase in underlying net income in the first quarter, exceeding estimates as it benefited from strong growth in the United States and Canada.

Canadian hotel owner InnVest Real Estate Investment said that it has entered into an agreement to be bought by Bluesky Hotels and Resorts. Its shares jumped 29.25 percent to 7.07 Canadian dollars.

InnVest owns 109 hotels across Canada, including stakes in some iconic names, such as Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel, while Bluesky is incorporated in Ontario but financed by money from Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the devastating wildfire in Fort McMurray is driving natural gas prices in the province of Alberta to their lowest level on record, and a new report predicts prices could continue to fall.

The drop comes after wildfire in Fort McMurray forced the shut-in of more than a million barrels of oil per day. Oil sands producers use natural gas for power generation and in bitumen production.

On the national economic slate, blistering hot housing markets aren’t the only things setting Toronto and Vancouver apart from the rest of Canada, the two cities are also creating all of the country’s job growth, according to economists.

The situation is seen as “extremely unusual” given that two cities account for 25 percent of total employment in Canada, which highlights the “extreme regional divergence” in the Canadian economy.

The Canadian dollar traded higher at 0.7781 U.S. dollar, compared with Tuesday’s closing rate of 0.7742 U.S. dollar. Endit

Source: Xinhua

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