Stronger energy shares pushed the Canadian stock market slightly higher Wednesday despite minutes from a latest Federal Reserve meeting delivered no big surprise to investors.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index increased 9.84 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 12306.93, while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index rose 2.18 points, or 0.25 percent, to 879.24.
Minutes from a latest Fed meeting released on Wednesday indicated that half members of the Fed's policy-making committee were in favor of reducing the 85 billion U.S. dollars bond-buying program later this year if the economy showed more signs of improvement.
The prospect of tapering the U.S. stimulus has caused market volatility in North America in recent weeks, but the Fed's latest statement was no big surprise to Canadian investors as most of them thought it just echoed earlier remarks by Fed chairman Bernanke. The Canadian market outperformed the U.S. market Wednesday, which was lackluster after Fed minutes.
Energy stock fueled growth on the Canadian market, rising 0.72 percent as oil price climbed to its 15-month high amid supply concerns. The American Petroleum Institute announced that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 9 million barrels last week, much higher than the 3.8-million-barrel drop that analysts had expected.
Among stocks leading the energy sector's gain, Canadian Natural Resources Limited surged 2.14 percent to 32.67 Canadian dollars per share and Suncor Energy rose 0.5 percent to 32.14 Canadian dollars per share,
The gold sector was also higher as bullion prices continued to move up. Shares in Kinross Gold was 1.25 percent higher to 4.87 Canadian dollars apiece.
The information technology sector fell with smartphone maker BlackBerry down nearly 4 percent to 9.80 Canadian dollars a share a day after the company's CEO Thorsten Heins asked shareholders for more patience to wait for the company to be profitable again. It was the first time its stock has sunk below 10 Canadian dollars since last November.
At closing, the Canadian dollar moved up at 0.9569 U.S. dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2100 GMT), compared with 0.9499 U.S. dollars on Tuesday.