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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index reached its highest in nearly 7 weeks on Monday as gains in shares of gold miners and TransCanada Corp helped offset concerns about Japan falling into a recession.
Japan's gross domestic product shrank by an annualized 1.6 percent in the July-September quarter, after diving 7.3 percent in the second quarter following a rise in the national sales tax.
The Toronto stock market's benchmark TSX index extended gains after last week's fifth-straight weekly advance. It is up about 9 percent since dropping to an eight-month low in October.
“The market has shrugged off what is largely seen as a Japanese domestic issue, caused by a fiscal tightening through the consumption tax that weighed on the Japanese economy but is not necessarily a global phenomenon,” said Stephen Lingard, portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Solutions at Franklin Templeton Investments.
“Our expectation is that volatility is going to be higher than lower (over the next few months),” he said.
“We don't think the fundamentals are necessarily that great for Canadian stocks, but you could see an oversold bounce if resources get some life,” added Lingard, who is bullish about U.S. equities.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 39.40 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,882.50. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Gold-mining shares jumped 1.8 percent. Barrick Gold Corp added 1.7 percent at C$14.07.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, climbed, with Toronto-Dominion Bank rising 0.3 percent to C$57.23 and Bank of Nova Scotia gaining 0.2 percent to C$68.77.
Shares of oil and gas producers slipped as oil prices dropped. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 1.3 percent to C$40.14, and Suncor Energy Inc shed 1 percent to C$39.19.
In corporate news, a small New York-based activist hedge fund said it is urging pipeline operator TransCanada Corp to overhaul its business, including breaking up the company to unlock higher share values. TransCanada’s stock climbed 1.4 percent to C$56.57.
Editing by Peter Galloway and Meredith Mazzilli