TSX rises as strong commodities lift resource shares

Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:02pm EDT
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed higher on Friday, led by its materials, financial and energy sectors, with stronger oil and metal prices lifting natural resource companies.

A mix of names led the market higher including Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), which climbed 1.7 percent to C$43.80, and Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote), higher by 2 percent to C$44.60, as the price of bullion staged its biggest one-day gain in a month as strong oil prices and a sliding greenback triggered short-covering after a sell-off earlier in the week.

Silver Wheaton SLW.TO soared 5.3 percent to C$33.66 after the Vancouver-based company reported on Thursday a sharp rise in profit, helped by increased selling prices of silver and gold.

Suncor Energy gained (SU.TO: Quote) 1 percent to C$32.80 and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote) rose 2.6 percent to C$45.44 as the price of oil climbed on supply concerns. As well, analysts and traders said an uptick had occurred across the commodities complex after Thursday's disappointing Chinese manufacturing data and the euro zone PMI figures.

"Yesterday you saw a pretty sharp sell-off coming in based on fears that growth in China is slowing. I think you saw a little bit of a recovery off that today," said Julie Brough, vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates.

"I think there's still a little bit of a bias toward the upside in the market," she added. "People still believe there's economic growth. We are getting consistently good numbers from the U.S. and that's offsetting concerns about China slowing."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up 103.85 points, or 0.84 percent, to 12,465.66, with all of its 10 main sectors higher. The index was down 0.3 percent, its fourth weekly drop in a row.

Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy, said higher Canadian inflation numbers were also supportive for resource shares.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 19, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid