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The close: TSX advances for sixth consecutive week with broad gains

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto in this file photo.

© Mark Blinch / Reuters

Canada's main stock index saw across-the-board gains on Friday, touching its highest in almost eight months and notching its sixth straight week of gains.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 39.22 points, or 0.25 percent, to finish at 15,857.22.

Nine of the index's 10 main sectors advanced, with consumer staples the only decliner.

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Consumer staples, home to grocers and other food producers, slipped 0.15 per cent.

The retreat in consumer staples stocks come as retail sales data for August showed an unexpected fall, led by a 2.5-per-cent drop at food and beverage stores.

Financial stocks, which make up about a third of the index's weight and can drive direction even when individual stock moves are modest, gained 0.3 per cent. IGM Financial was up 4.5 per cent while Bank of Montreal was up 0.3 per cent.

Canadian Pacific Railway extended its gains this week after reporting better than expected third-quarter profit late on Tuesday, and was up another 1.44 per cent to $224.09. Canadian National Railway advanced 0.3 per cent to $102.93. The overall industrials sector rose 0.6 per cent.

The materials group, which includes mining and other resource firms, added 0.6 per cent as nickel prices hit a six-week high and copper prices remained above $7,000 a tonne.

Teck Resources Ltd. rallied 2 per cent. Health care stocks rose 1.4 per cent.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday after the Senate passed a budget resolution, lifting hopes that President Donald Trump's tax-cut plan may move forward.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 165.32 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 23,328.36, the S&P 500 gained 13.07 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 2,575.17 and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.99 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,629.05.

For the week, the S&P rose 0.86 per cent, the Dow added 2 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 0.35 per cent.

The Senate's approval late Thursday of a 2018 budget blueprint could pave the way for Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.

The S&P 500 and the Dow, which climbed above 23,000 this week, were on track to post gains for a sixth straight week and the Nasdaq for a fourth straight week.

Some investors saw little reason to worry about the extended climb.

"This has been a healthy advance. It has been a slow, steady grind upward. There's been extraordinarily low volatility," said Hank Smith, co-chief investment officer at Haverford Trust in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

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Consumer confidence remains elevated and regulatory relief has helped, he noted.

Financial stocks – expected to benefit from the administration's proposed policies – rose 1.1 per cent and were the best performer of the 11 major S&P sectors.

Third-quarter earnings season is under way and 183 S&P 500 companies are expected to report earnings next week. So far, more than 70 per cent of the 88 S&P 500 companies have beaten profit expectations.

Shares of General Electric reversed an early drop and were last up 0.85 per cent, although the company's results badly missed Wall Street's expectations.

PayPal's stock rose 5.3 per cent after upbeat earnings.

Celgene slumped more than 10 per cent after the company abandoned testing a drug to treat Crohn's disease.

Reuters

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