TSX makes broad gains, closes above 30-month high

Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:39pm EST
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By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose in light trading on Friday, led by energy, materials and financial stocks, extending a two-week rally fed by growing optimism about global economic growth.

The resource-heavy index was helped by higher commodity prices, said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management in Toronto.

Gold edged higher, copper touched a four-month peak and U.S. crude oil futures rose after government data showed that U.S. oil inventories had fallen for the fourth straight week. <O/R>

"Oil is driven by economic growth, effectively, so we think that oil going up makes a lot of sense in a world that looks like it's going to be growing a lot faster," said Harris.

Copper prices hit their highest point in more than four months, boosted by tightening supply and optimism about the recovery. <GOL/> <MET/L>

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 69.96 points, or 0.52 percent, at 13,587.98, its highest close since May 2011.

The exchange was closed for the Boxing Day holiday on Thursday, when U.S. equity markets, where many Canadian companies also trade, pushed higher.

Paul Hand, managing director of RBC Capital Markets, said Canadian stocks were catching up to their U.S. counterparts, though many traders were still on vacation.   Continued...

People attend a market open ceremony for the Toronto Stock Exchange at the TSX Broadcast Centre in Toronto June 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch