Canadian Stocks Move Mostly Higher

Canadian stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday, extending the upward move seen in the previous session.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index climbed 120.19 points or 0.6 percent to 21,395.00, reaching its best closing level in well over a month.

The higher close came following the release of the Labor Department's highly anticipated report on U.S. consumer price inflation in December.

While the report showed the annual rate of consumer price growth once again reached the highest level in almost 40 years, traders seemed relieved the acceleration was not even more significant.

Materials stocks turned in a strong performance following data showing easing Chinese inflation, driving the S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index up by 2.3 percent.

Strength in the energy sector also helped to support the market, with the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index climbing by 1.4 percent.

The strength among energy stocks came amid a continued increase by the price of crude oil, as crude for February delivery jumped $1.42 to $82.64 a barrel.

Crude oil benefited from continued optimism about the outlook for energy demand as well as a report showing a much bigger than expected weekly decrease in U.S. crude oil inventories.

On the other hand, healthcare stocks showed a significant move to the downside on the day, resulting in a 2.4 percent slump by the S&P/TSX Capped Health Care Index.

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