TSX gains as U.S. data supports, Ukraine tensions cool
By John Tilak
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced on Tuesday as positive U.S. data indicated strength in the world's biggest economy and tensions over Ukraine eased slightly.
Speculation that the Chinese government may unveil stimulus measures meanwhile boosted the price of copper, which jumped 2 percent to hit a two-week high, and sent shares of diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO up more than 3 percent.
Data released on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence touching a six-year high in March and house prices rising in January.
Investors also watched as Russia indicated a willingness to engage with the West, and U.S. President Barack Obama and his allies agreed to hold off on more damaging economic sanctions unless Moscow went beyond the seizure of Crimea.
The Toronto market firmed after dropping in the previous two sessions and has advanced about 5 percent this year.
"The market is fairly volatile on not a lot of volume or conviction," said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management. "If the (Ukraine situation) escalates in Crimea, then the market will react very negatively."
Strength in the global economy and easy monetary policies by central banks could help the Canadian equity market this year, he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 20.94 points, or 0.15 percent, at 14,299.49. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Continued...