(Adds investor quotes and details on activity, updates prices)
* TSX ends up 108.16 points, or 0.5%, at 20,928.10
* Index notches its biggest weekly advance since March
* U.S. crude oil futures settle 1.2% higher
* Financials gain 0.9%; industrials end 0.6% higher
TORONTO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Friday to a record high as oil prices climbed and investors
cheered the move into a seasonally strong period for the market
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended up 108.16 points, or 0.5%, at 20,928.10,
eclipsing the record closing high it notched on Sept. 3.
For the week, it was up 2.5%, its biggest weekly advance
"We are now entering the period that is very positive for
equities and are probably going to see a Santa Clause rally
between now and year end," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager
at ABC Funds, referring to the seasonal move that sometimes
happens in stocks.
"The thing that is driving it right now are the recovery of
oil and gas prices," Michael added.
U.S. crude oil futures settled 1.2% higher at $82.28
a barrel on forecasts of a supply deficit over the next few
months, while the energy sector on the TSX touched its
highest since May 2019, ending 0.2% higher.
Financials, which account for about 30% of the
index's market value, gained 0.9% and industrials
ended 0.6% higher.
After snapping a seven-month win streak in September, the
Canadian equity index has gained 4.3% so far this month.
"It really feels like people got a little too bearish
heading into earnings season and what we're seeing now is a bit
of a short-covering rally in the market as first glimpses we've
had of earnings have been okay," said Gregory Taylor, portfolio
manager at Purpose Investments.
Big U.S. financial institutions reported strong earnings
this week, setting a positive tone in markets after fears over
surging commodity prices, supply chain issues and inflation
Gains on Friday were capped by a 0.9% slide in gold stocks
as gold prices fell.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in
Editing by Alistair Bell)