The “oligopoly nature” of Canada’s banking sector has lessened some of the impact on banks’ share prices, said Ian Scott, equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.Customers may be less inclined to move their business to another bank after it became clear that the practices of more than one bank are under scrutiny, he added.Premium Brands Holdings Corp climbed 5.7 percent to C$77.50 after reporting record fourth-quarter results and a 10.5 percent increase in its dividend.It was “another consistent solid quarter,” said Scott.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 41.5 points, or 0.27 percent, at 15,562.41, its highest close since March 7.The materials group, which includes miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2 percent as base and precious metal prices rose.

Gold futures rose 2.2 percent to $1,226.1 an ounce and copper prices advanced 0.8 percent to $5,908.85 a tonne.Five of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher. Energy was among the sectors that did not advance, dipping slightly with oil prices. U.S. crude prices settled 11 cents lower at $48.75 a barrel.Oil prices jumped on Wednesday after a dip in U.S. crude inventories suggested OPEC-led output cuts were starting to drain supplies.Foreign investment in Canadian securities dropped to its lowest in more than a year in January, as non-residents bought bonds while selling stocks and money market paper, Statistics Canada said. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by W Simon and James Dalgleish)

When Ian Carroll asked council contractors why they were herding Canada geese into a van at a park, he was not satisfied by their claim to be ringing the birds’ feet.Mr Carroll, 39, contacted the park ranger but remained unconvinced by his assurance the birds were being relocated to a country park – even after the ranger sent him a picture of them supposedly being released.So the postman, who is a member of a local animal rescue group, lodged a Freedom of Information Act request with Sandwell Council, which finally admitted the geese had been taken away and ‘humanely’ killed.The West Midlands authority has now admitted it removed and killed 220 Canada geese from parks in Tipton and West Bromwich in 2013 and 2014, using a licensed pest control firm.The removals including the geese and goslings filmed by Mr Carroll in Victoria Park, Tipton in summer last year.