Resources power TSX higher as earnings lift hopes

Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:26pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index finished more than 1 percent higher on Tuesday with investor confidence bolstered by stronger-than-expected U.S. earnings, economic data and firmer commodity prices.

Mining and energy stocks were up 2.5 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively, as gold and copper prices came off one-month lows. The index's materials group, home to miners, was up 2.08 percent.

"For a change, it's a sea of green," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver. "When that happens, the TSX does tend to benefit disproportionately. What's been holding the index back for the longest time has been this fear of the many risks out there.

"It's basically an improvement on sentiment ... It's a bunch of little things that have come together to contribute to a sharp rise in the TSX."

Miner Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) was the biggest index mover, jumping 3.21 percent to C$39.21, followed by Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), which climbed 2.41 percent to C$33.16, and fellow oil producer Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), which rose 2.62 percent to end at C$30.89.

Gold prices snapped two days of hefty losses, while U.S. crude seesawed its way higher, helped by a fall in the U.S. dollar against the euro and solid gains in U.S. equities.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) completed the top five index movers, with RBC up 1.08 percent at C$57.86, and TD advancing 1.03 percent to C$82.29. The overall financial group was up 1.09 percent.

Financials, energy and materials shares make up about three quarters of the index.   Continued...

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