TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s resource-heavy main stock index jumped on Friday, led by energy and mining shares, as China’s reported economic growth that was not as bad as some had feared and U.S. bank earnings beat expectations.
Growth in China slowed for a sixth straight quarter to 7.6 percent, but growth was both better than some in the market feared while low enough to keep open the possibility that more action may be taken by policymakers.
Global stocks and commodity prices rallied on the news, though some analysts cautioned that trading remained light.
“Despite the fact that we have a very strong day, we have very poor volume,” said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director, institutional equity research, at CIBC World Markets.
On Friday, nearly all of Canada’s 10 main sectors were higher. The powerful energy complex led the way, climbing 1.4 percent as U.S. crude prices rebounded. Gains were stemmed as China’s implied oil demand for June was down 0.4 percent year-on-year. <O/R>
The biggest movers among oil and gas firms included Suncor Energy (SU.TO), up 1.9 percent at C$29.41, Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), which rose 2.2 percent to C$33.28, and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), up 3.9 percent at C$38.50.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 89.06 points, or 0.8 percent, at 11,514.53. Even so, the index was down 1.2 percent for the week.
“The optimism in the markets is linked to the rather perverse case that is being made that as the Chinese economy slows then inevitably the Chinese government will have to put together some sort of package that will miraculously re-accelerate growth,” said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities in Montreal.
Underwhelming economic data has led China’s central bank to cut interest rates twice in the last two months, but Leitao noted “those measures have not had the desirous impact of accelerating growth.”
The materials group, which includes miners, rose 1 percent as the China data boosted prices of gold and base metals. <GOL/> <MET/L>
After its stock plunged to a multi-year low earlier in the week, Goldcorp (G.TO) led mining gains on Friday, rising 2.5 percent to end at C$34.53. Other miners on the upside included Kinross Gold (K.TO), which jumped nearly 6 percent to C$8.51, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO, up 2 percent at C$30.68.
Shares of mid-tier gold miner Detour Gold Corp (DGC.TO) spiked 5.3 percent to C$21.69 on speculation it could be a possible takeover target for larger rivals such as Goldcorp and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO). But Detour Chief Executive Gerald Panneton insisted the company is not for sale.
Separately, the U.S. Labor Department said seasonally adjusted producer prices rose 0.1 percent, a pace that leaves the door open for more efforts from the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy.
“The U.S. is being viewed as a safer place to be,” said Mokhtari. “It’s the best of the worst.”
The results helped Canada’s financial sector advance 0.5 percent. Gains were led by the country’s two biggest lenders, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) rising 0.6 percent to C$52.48 and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) climbing 0.8 percent at C$79.85.
Editing by Leslie Adler