Canada’s main stock index ticked higher to outperform U.S. markets on Thursday, as a crude oil rally drove gains in the Canadian energy sector.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 83.93 points at 20,265.37. The energy-heavy index benefited from a second day of oil price gains, with the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate once again trading at above US$90 per barrel after sliding earlier in the week.
Fiera Capital portfolio manager Candice Bangsund said oil is rising in the wake of a bullish U.S. inventory report that is helping to calm fears about a potential economic slowdown and its impacts on energy demand.
Thursday’s comments from OPEC’s new secretary general Haitham Al Gais, in which he said spare production capacity was “becoming scarce” and predicted demand will increase by almost three million barrels per day this year, also provided a boost to crude markets.