Gold miners, Bernanke push TSX higher
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks ended the week on a positive note, boosted by a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that kept stimulus hopes alive and as the soaring price of bullion helped gold miners.
Bernanke stopped short of giving a clear signal the U.S. central bank would soon act but investors bet that his language made another round of bond-buying, known as quantitative easing, more likely.
"QE is arguably very good for risk assets like equities, but also QE would have a not terribly indirect impact on commodities," said Stephen Wood, chief investment strategist at Russell Investments in New York.
Bullion hit a five-month high after the speech, helping Toronto-listed gold miners punch higher. <GOL/>
Major players Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) and Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) each gained more than 3 percent, Yamana Gold Inc (YRI.TO: Quote) jumped 4.3 percent and a slew of juniors jumped even more.
Oil and copper prices also rose, lending support to the energy and materials companies that make up a large portion of the Canadian exchange.
Athabasca Oil Corp (ATH.TO: Quote) jumped 8.6 percent to C$13.58 after a newspaper reported Kuwait's state-controlled oil company had agreed to invest $4 billion in a joint venture in the northern Alberta oil sands.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE gained 62.61 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 11,949.26. The index still notched a loss on the week but gained 2.44 percent over the course of August in very thin volumes. Continued...