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The close: TSX touches six-week high on broad gains

A TSX tote board is pictured in Toronto in this file photo.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Canada's main stock index touched a six-week high on Tuesday as financial and energy stocks led broad-based gains.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 56.30 points, or 0.4 per cent to finish at 15,292.97.

Utilities were the lone decliners among the index's 10 key sectors.

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Inter Pipeline Ltd. rose 3.3 per cent to $23.81, while Keyera Corp. jumped 2.6 per cent to $38.55. Both companies were upgraded by BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Ben Pham.

Cenovus Energy Inc advanced 2.1 per cent to $11.48.

The energy group climbed 0.1 per cent as crude oil prices traded near five-month highs after key Middle Eastern producers showed they were continuing to comply with output cuts under an OPEC-led deal.

The heavily weighted financials group rose 0.5 per cent, though individual gains within the sector were modest.

Industrials fell 0.1 per cent, with Air Canada stock erasing early gains and falling 1.4 per cent to $23.33 after the airline set new financial targets and moved toward launching a rewards program.

Other notable gainers included Granite Real Estate Investment Trust, which rose 3.5 per cent to $50.89, Teck Resources Inc., up 2 per cent to $26.86, and Sun Life Financial Inc., which increased 1 per cent to $47.71.

Goldcorp Inc. fell 1.2 per cent to $15.76, while Encana Corp. was down 0.3 per cent to $13.10.

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Global stock markets edged higher on Tuesday and the dollar dipped as investors awaited signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve on when it will hike interest rates again and start shrinking its balance sheet.

Wall Street stocks gained slightly, with the Dow climbing to a fresh record, while an index of stocks across the globe also inched higher.

Tuesday marks the start of the U.S. central bank's two-day meeting. The Fed is widely expected to announce on Wednesday that it will begin paring its bond holdings, with reductions likely to start in the coming months.

Investors will also be watching for signals that the Fed will raise rates in December, and for any clues on personnel changes as the end of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's term approaches and after the resignation of Vice Chair Stanley Fischer earlier this month.

"The quiet nature of (the market) is in anticipation of the Fed meeting. Janet Yellen has a press conference. That and the statement will perhaps provide some insight into what they're going to do in terms of deleveraging their balance sheet," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Ala.

"There's some concern among investors as to how this will work, and how it will affect long-term rates."

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The Fed's possible move to further roll back stimulus has not stemmed the greenback's weakness this year as other major central banks are considering steps to either slow their bond purchases or raise interest rates.

The dollar had weakened against yen ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's speech before the United Nations General Assembly.

In the speech, Mr. Trump warned that the United States will be forced to "totally destroy" North Korea unless Pyongyang backs down from its nuclear challenge, but the criticism was not enough to spook investors.

The greenback was steady at 111.57 yen, below its eight-week peak of 111.87 set earlier Tuesday.

A dollar index fell 0.14 per cent.

Weighing on the dollar index earlier was U.S. data showing domestic home construction fell for a second straight month in August.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39.28 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 22,370.63, the S&P 500 gained 2.77 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 2,506.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 6.68 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 6,461.32.

"It's not a really big move to the upside, (but) stocks still look attractive relative to other investments," Mr. Hellwig said.

The S&P 500 and Dow had both hit new peaks on Monday despite some late pressure on big tech stocks.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.1 per cent, while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.20 per cent.

Tokyo's Nikkei surged 2 per cent to its highest close in more than two years as investors drew confidence from a weakening yen and hopes of a snap election underpinned the market.

In the U.S. bond market, prices were near flat. Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.2428 per cent, from 2.23 percent late on Monday.

Oil prices edged lower on Tuesday, retreating from near-five-month highs in advance of data expected to show a build in U.S. crude inventories as imports resume and refineries were still restarting after recent storm activity.

The market, however, remained buoyant ahead of Friday's meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with non-OPEC producers to discuss progress of their 1.8-million barrel-per-day supply cut deal.

OPEC's second-biggest producer Iraq said that the group was discussing several options for its supply pact, including an extension beyond March and a further output cut.

Nigeria and Libya will send representatives to the meeting despite being exempt from the current deal, two OPEC sources said. Rising output from both countries has kept a lid on price gains, prompting suggestions that they could be included in the deal.

Brent crude futures were down 30 cents at $55.20 a barrel, not far off a five-month high of $55.99. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 35 cents to $49.56.

"It feels kind of like positioning ahead of tonight's report but there's not a lot of action behind the move," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

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