Suncor buoys TSX as index turns positive on year

Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:01pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index recorded its second-biggest percentage jump of the year so far on Tuesday, boosted by gains in almost all main sectors and in Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) shares after a strong earnings showing.

The climb helped the index, which has advanced in eight of the last nine sessions, recover from a massive commodities-led selloff earlier this month and turn positive on the year.

An 18 percent jump in CGI Group Inc (GIBa.TO: Quote) after the information technology services company reported strong fiscal second-quarter results further lifted sentiment.

Investors also closely eyed potential actions by central banks as weak European economic data heightened expectations of an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank. U.S. Federal Reserve members gathered for a two-day meeting at which they are expected to agree to sustain the bond-buying program.

Despite the recent gains, the Toronto market is flat this year so far, compared with a nearly 12 percent rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX.

"The TSX is in a good position to narrow the performance gap," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"We've been lagging this whole bull run," he added. "You just have to wonder if investors have been too downbeat on Canada's prospects over the past few months."

Canada's economy delivered a welcome surprise in February, growing faster than expected and prompting economists to upgrade their forecasts for the first quarter, although none expect the central bank to raise interest rates any time soon.   Continued...

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