TSX nears six-year high on U.S. data, gold-mining surge

Wed Apr 2, 2014 11:12am EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index touched its highest in nearly six years on Wednesday as positive U.S. economic data supported market sentiment and shares of gold miners jumped with the price of bullion.

A report showed U.S. companies picked up the pace of hiring in March, suggesting the effects of harsh weather might be starting to taper off and setting the stage for the monthly U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.

The Toronto market climbed for a fourth straight session. It is up about 5.8 percent this year and is one of the strongest performers among major global indices.

"We've got to get used to extreme volatility, particularly in commodities," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "But the market is going to saw tooth its way up."

"On balance, things appear to be moving, slowly but surely, in a positive trend," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 38.40 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,418.95.

"The TSX will probably surprise people," said Michael, who has been increasing his Canadian investments. "To my mind, the Canadian market will be a sleeper this year."

Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Wednesday.   Continued...

A sign displaying TSX information is seen in Toronto November 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch