Canada’s main stock index jumped higher on Monday boosted by the healthcare sector and energy stocks.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was unofficially up 116.62 points, or 0.72 per cent, at 16,346.66.
All of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by energy, which rose 1.7 per cent.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. rose 2.6 per cent, while Vermilion Energy Inc. and Suncor Energy Inc. rose 2.1 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.
Oil prices rose more than 1 per cent on Monday, supported by Middle East tensions and OPEC-led supply cuts as well as continued crude disruptions from Russia after a contamination problem discovered last month.
Output reductions - both voluntary by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, plus those resulting from U.S. sanctions - have helped Brent crude, the global benchmark, rise by about 29% this year.
Brent settled at $70.11, rising $1.42, or 2.07 per cent, after having fallen by about 4.5% last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 59 cents, or 1 per cent, to $59.24 a barrel.
Public holidays in the United States and Britain on Monday limited participation, keeping volumes low.
Tensions between the United States and Iran, with Washington’s announcement on Friday that it would deploy more troops to the Middle East, raised the prospect of supply disruptions and supported prices.
In Toronto, health care stocks rose 1.5 per cent as Cronos Group Inc. jumped 3.5 per cent. Aphria Inc. increased 4.6 per cent, while Hexo Corp. sat 3.3 per cent higher.
The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals mining companies added 0.2 per cent as gold prices rose.
The financials sector gained 0.6 per cent, while the industrials sector rose 1.1 per cent.
European shares rose on Monday, led by car-makers after Fiat Chrysler and Renault confirmed they were in talks to merge, while broader trading was mainly driven by regional politics.
The STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 per cent, with most countries’ bourses posting gains after results of European parliamentary elections showed strong support for pro-European Union parties.
However, with UK and U.S. markets closed for holidays, liquidity was shallow and STOXX 600 trading volumes were the lowest seen since late August.
The calling of a snap election by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras boosted sentiment after the ruling leftist Syriza party endured a heavy defeat in the European election.
Athens-traded stocks surged 6.1 per cent, for their best day since February 2016, on hopes that a new government would be more business friendly than the current one.
“The Greek market had not followed the valuation re-rating of European markets post 2015 given the radical nature and rhetoric of the government that we had in place,” said Nick Koskoletos, head of equity research at Eurobank Equities in Athens.
“The prospect of a more pro-business government and enhanced investor prospects in Greece is helping the market play catch up.”
Trading volumes in Greek stocks, which were already Europe’s best performers in the year to Friday’s close, were more than three times their 90-day average.