TSX extends rally on resource stocks
By Jon Cook
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced for the fifth straight session on Thursday, led by energy and mining shares, but gains were limited as weak U.S. data and a spike in Spain's borrowing costs stoked concerns about the global economy.
European equities hit four-month highs and the benchmark S&P 500 index rallied to a fresh 2-1/2-month peak, as commodities rallied and investor sentiment was buoyed by solid corporate earnings. <MKTS/GLOB> .N
Seven of Canada's 10 main industry sectors finished higher. The heavily-weighted energy complex led the way, rising 1.6 percent as oil prices hit eight-week highs on escalating tension in the Middle East. <O/R>
The oil and gas patch's top performers included Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), which rose 1.3 percent to C$30.59, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), up 3.2 percent at C$28.98, and Canadian Oil Sands Ltd COS.TO, which jumped 3.4 percent to C$20.32.
"We're seeing a lot of the oil and gas service stocks, both in Canada and the United States moving up significantly," said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management Inc.
Trican Well Service Ltd TCW.TO also jumped nearly 9 percent to C$11.54.
Nexen Inc's NXY.TO shares shrugged off disappointing second-quarter earnings on Thursday to finish nearly flat at C$17.44. Profit at Canada's No. 6 independent oil explorer fell a steeper-than-expected 57 percent in the quarter, though it said much of the drop was due to a charge for a previously announced unsuccessful exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico.
The influential materials subindex rose 1.2 percent as gold and copper prices gained from a weaker U.S. dollar, which makes assets priced in greenbacks cheaper for holders of other currencies. <GOL/> <MET/L> Continued...