TORONTO, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market rebounded from its lowest point of the year with a triple-digit gain on Wednesday as Materials and Energy stocks posted sharp gains following the U.S. central bank's decision to raise interest rates for the second time in three months.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite climbed 141.30 points, or 0.92 percent to close the day at 15,520.91 points. Nine of the ten sub-groups finished the session higher.
After raising the interest rate by 0.25 percent during their December meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to increase the target rate by another quarter percentage point to a range of 0.75 percent and one percent following a two-day meeting. This decision was well anticipated by the market leading up to decision. The median economic projections remained unchanged.
During the trading session, the Materials and Energy groups were the biggest winners, rising 4.41 percent and 2.96 percent, apiece.
The TSX Materials group, which is made up of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, recovered was fuelled by the price of gold bouncing back from hitting a six-week low yesterday. The spot price of bullion jumped 1.76 percent to 1,219.70 U.S. dollars an ounce. Silver also thrived, gaining 2.85 percent to close at 17.32 U.S. dollars an ounce.
Several gold miners posted strong gains on the day. Toronto-based Argonaut Gold Inc. and IAMGOLD Corporation were among the highest, surging 13.53 percent and 13.16 percent, respectively. Also posting healthy gains were: B2Gold Corp. (8.99 percent), Yamana Gold Inc. (8.50 percent), and Kinross Gold Corporation (8.16 percent). Barrick Gold, the world' s largest producer of gold also contributed to the group's end result, rising 5.59 percent to close at 25.33 Canadian dollars (19.04 U.S. dollars) a share.
Energy stocks slipped as the prices of crude oil and natural gas both advanced. Brent crude oil for May delivery jumped 1.51 percent higher to 51.89 U.S. dollars a barrel, while April natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange advanced 1.46 percent to 2.974 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units. As a result of the gains, Calgary-based Baytex Energy Corp. and Encana Corporation shares climbed 6.56 percent and 5.68 percent, respectively.
The remaining groups to end the day in positive territory were: Utilities (1.06 percent), Consumer Staples (0.91 percent), Consumer Discretionary (0.53 percent), Information Technology (0.48 percent), Health Care (0.31 percent), Telecommunications (0.23 percent), and Industrials (0.14 percent).
The lone group to finish the session behind was Financials, fading 0.47 percent after the price of government bank yields declined following the interest rate announcement. All four of Canada' s largest lenders saw dips. Shares of Bank of Montreal retreated 1.22 percent to 101.24 (76.08 U.S. dollars), Bank of Nova Scotia slipped 1.02 percent to 78.22 Canadian dollars (58.78 U.S. dollars), and No. 1 ranked Royal Bank of Canada faded 0.63 percent to 96.66 Canadian dollars (72.64 U.S. dollars).
Meanwhile, No. 2 ranked Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank saw stock price close at 65.95 Canadian dollars (49.56 U.S. dollars). Earlier in the day, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada announced that they would be launching a review starting in April after a report last week detailed TD Bank employees broke rules to meet sales targets.
The Canadian dollar jumped 0.99 cents to end the session at 0.7515 U.S. dollars. .