Energy, gold shares lift TSX as commodity prices rise

Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:25pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced for a third straight session on Monday as strength in commodity prices lifted gold-mining and oil and gas shares.

The gains were capped by declines in financial stocks and in Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO: Quote) after it reported a drop in first-quarter profit.

The index was edging up from its second-biggest weekly decline of the year, which was triggered by a rout in commodity prices, including the biggest drop in gold prices ever.

"There's certainly an interest from investors at these levels," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver. "One can make the argument that valuations are better than they've been in a couple of years."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 25.13 points, or 0.21 percent, at 12,090.68. Five of the 10 main sectors of the index were higher.

The resource-heavy index is down 2.8 percent on the year so far, in contrast to solid gains made by U.S. stocks.

"Unquestionably, there is a degree of caution," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. "A great many portfolio managers are licking their wounds. This has been a very dramatic correction on the resources."

Higher oil prices supported a 1.2 percent climb in energy shares on Monday. <O/R> Among them, Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) jumped 1.7 percent to C$28.60 and played the biggest role of any single stock in leading the market higher.   Continued...

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