Oil prices help Canadian markets recover 11 per cent

January 6th, 2009 - 10:27 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Jan 6 (IANS) Higher oil prices helped the Canadian market maintain its upward trend from the New Year’s first day, with energy and metal sectors posting further gains on the Toronto stock exchange (TSX).The Canadian dollar also made major gains against the US dollar, edging 1.77 cents higher to close at 84.03 cents US even as the country’s finance minister met with top banks to discuss availability of credit to stimulate the economy.

Continuing its gains from the last four sessions, the TSX composite index rose 51.4 points to close at 9,285.51.

With crude oil crossing $48 on the global market, the Canadian energy sector gained almost 3.25 per cent, pushing the composite index up.

While the energy major EnCana Corp was up $2.67 to close at $62.42, Canadian Natural Resources gained $3.11 to end the day at $55.10.

The metals sector also gained 9.25 per cent, with the major Teck Cominco Ltd up $1.18 to close at $8.20.

In the financial sector, Toronto Dominion Bank - the second largest Canadian bank - was marginally up $1.24 to $45.33.

However, the gold sector was down 7.25 per cent, with Gold Corp slipping $3.35 to close at $34.72. Barrick Gold Corp also dived $2.94 to close at $40.78. Having dipped to 7,724 points in November from more a high of more than 15,000 in June last year, the Canadian market has gained almost 11 percent during the last five sessions.
Meanwhile, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the Bank of Canada governor met with bank CEOs here Monday to discuss the issue of credit for businesses and individuals to stimulate the economy.Though the Bank of Canada has lowered lending rates to the lowest level in decades, the banks are said to be reluctant to give loans, forcing the finance minister to issue them a ultimatum last month.

While the finance minister and the Bank of Canada governor didn’t speak to the media after the meeting, the Canadian Bankers Association said their talks were “productive”.

The association said it assured the finance minister that the banks were committed to helping Canadian businesses to face the economic crisis by lending to creditworthy individuals.

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