By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Thursday as gains for consumer and industrial shares offset fresh lows for oil prices that pressured the energy sector, a day before key U.S. and Canadian jobs data.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 31.10 points, or 0.2%, at 19,577.04, holding near the top of its range since June.
“The message so far has been that the sky’s not falling,” said Angelo Kourkafas, investment strategist at Edward Jones Investments.
“Even though the (corporate) results are not great, they are good enough. They’ve been good enough so far with consumer demand generally proving to be fairly resilient.”
Shares of business aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Inc jumped 10.4% after the company reported a smaller quarterly loss, helped by steady demand and lower interest expenses.
The industrials sector rose 1.8%, while consumer-related sectors also notched solid gains, led by Restaurant Brands International Inc. Its shares ended 7.6% higher as the company beat second-quarter sales and profit estimates, boosted by strong demand at its Burger King and Tim Hortons restaurants.
Investors awaited U.S. and Canadian employment data on Friday that could guide expectations for additional interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada.
The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 2.6% as gold and copper prices rose.
Capping the gains on the index, the energy sector dropped 4.5% as oil prices fell to their lowest since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. U.S. crude oil futures settled 2.3% lower at $88.54 a barrel.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc was also a drag. It tumbled 17.2% after the company reported quarterly earnings that missed estimates.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Josie Kao)