TSX posts tenth day of gains, nears three-year high

Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:08pm EST
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed to its highest in nearly three years on Tuesday as global equity markets cheered stimulative policy measures taken by the Bank of Japan, while a jump in oil prices lifted shares of energy producers.

With sentiment for equities rebounding and an appetite for natural resource stocks staging a recovery, the Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index closed higher for a 10th straight session.

The Japanese central bank kept an easy monetary policy in place and extended special loan programs to support economic growth.

Further support for the index came from a 5.1 percent jump in shares of smartphone maker BlackBerry (BB.TO: Quote) after investor Daniel Loeb's Third Point hedge fund disclosed it had bought 10 million shares in the company.

Offsetting some of the positive sentiment was data showing a slowdown in New York manufacturing in February after it hit a 20-month high in January.

Recent gains in shares of gold producers have driven much of benchmark Canadian index's rise this year. The S&P/TSX composite index is up about 3.4 percent so far in 2014, compared with a decline in the S&P 500 .SPX.

"The TSX is definitely back in favor. It's been a steady grind upwards and it's indicative of changing sentiment for the Canadian equity space," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"This rally has been earnings driven. It is fundamentally sound," he added. "With the index having surpassed 14,000, it does give us more confidence in the outlook for the rest of year."   Continued...

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