TSX extends rally on data, earnings

Tue May 1, 2012 5:13pm EDT
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose for the fifth straight session on Tuesday as resource shares were boosted by strong manufacturing data from the U.S. and China and solid earnings results from Canada's energy sector.

Oil and gas firms led gains for the second day in a row, rising 1.2 percent as oil prices rose and strong earnings from industry heavyweight Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) pushed the sector higher. <O/R>

Suncor shares climbed 1 percent to C$32.94 a day after the country's top oil producer reported first-quarter operating profit that topped forecasts, driven largely by better-than-expected production results. It also hiked its quarterly dividend 18 percent.

"The oil (stocks) are pretty much carrying the market," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. "So far the earnings surprises are on the upside and that certainly helps."

Suncor's results followed on the heels of last week's positive earnings by Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO: Quote), which saw its shares rise 0.9 percent to C$36.17 on Tuesday.

Other influential gainers included Canadian Oil Sands COS.TO, which soared 5.6 percent to C$23.05 a day after it reported a quarterly loss, but still beat estimates.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), which reports later in the week, climbed 1.1 percent to C$34.70 and Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) jumped 2.9 percent to C$21.29.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 40.10 points, or 0.3 percent, at 12,332.79, its highest level since April 3. It was the first time since early January the TSX has risen for five consecutive sessions.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch