TORONTO, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market bounced back on Thursday from two straight days of losses, as gains in the Industrials sector overcame declines in energy stocks.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite rose 72.68 points, or 0.47 percent to end the session at 15,625.56 points. Eight of the 10 sub-groups finished the day higher.
Industrials and Consumer Discretionary groups were tied for the largest percentage gain on the day with a 0.96 percent leap.
The TSX Industrials group was led by better than expected first quarter earnings from Pacific Railway Limited due to increasing shipments of commodities. During the quarter, revenues ticked up one percent to 1.603 billion Canadian dollars.
Shares of the Calgary-based firm jumped 2.59 percent to 207.26 Canadian dollars (153.85 U.S. dollars). Meanwhile, Canada' s other rail company, Canadian National Railway Company, saw shares grow 1.66 percent to 100.36 Canadian dollars (74.72 U.S. dollars).
Also making news within the group was the country's second largest airline firm, WestJet Airlines Ltd announcing plans to introduce an ultra-low-cost carrier later in the year to increase their market segments. Shares of the Calgary-based firm fell 0.91 percent to close at 22.91 Canadian dollars (17.01 U.S. dollars).
The Consumer Discretionary group, which is comprised of producers of non-essentials goods such as automobiles, apparel, and entertainment, was led by a trio of Ontario-based auto parts manufacturers. Guelph-based Linamar Corporation shares jumped 2.49 percent, while Aurora-based Magna International Inc ascended 2.42 percent.
Topping the two firms was Toronto-based Martinrea International Inc with a 3.15 percent jolt to close at 9.82 Canadian dollars (7.29 U.S. dollars).
The remaining groups to close the trading day ahead were: Information Technology (0.87 percent), Consumer Staples (0.78 percent), Materials (0.61 percent), Financial (0.56 percent), and Telecommunications (0.36 percent).
The TSX IT group finished was propped up by Waterloo-based Blackberry Limited stock gaining 1.83 percent to close at 12.26 Canadian dollars (9.10 U.S. dollars). CGI Group Inc and Open Text Corporation also contributed with respective increases of 1.51 percent and 0.72 percent.
The news was not positive for all groups, as Health Care and Energy groups closed Thursday lower with losses of 0.87 percent and 0.64 percent, respectively.
The energy sector continued to slump, falling for the sixth time in the last seven sessions. The price of Brent crude oil for June delivery slipped for a fourth straight day, falling 0.28 percent to close at 52.90 U.S. dollars a barrel.
As a result, Calgary-based energy firms were hit hard. Shares of Baytex Energy Corp and Encana Corporation dipped 3.59 percent and 2.59 percent, apiece. Taking a bigger hit were shares of MEG Energy Corp, which closed at 6.25 Canadian dollars (4.64 U.S. dollars), a 4.58 percent decline.
On the economic front, the government of Ontario announced 16 measures to cool down the real estate prices in the most populous province in the country.
The most impactful change is a 15 percent foreign buyer tax for all property in the southern part of the province between Niagara Falls and Peterborough. Earlier in the month, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported that homes sold in the Greater Toronto Area in March were up 33 percent compared to a year ago.
The Canadian dollar inched up 0.05 cents to finish the day at 0.7423 U.S. dollars.