TSX ends up on commodity prices, Italy hopes

Tue Nov 8, 2011 5:27pm EST
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX rode stronger oil and copper prices to finish higher on Tuesday, as commodities markets reacted favorably to the news Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi plans to resign.

The news sent global equities and commodity prices higher as Berlusconi's exit could ease the passage of unpopular austerity measures needed to reduce debt and lower Italian government bond yields.

The news was cheered by the Canadian financials sector, which climbed 0.7 percent and led the TSX higher. Canadian banks have little direct exposure to Europe, but their profits would be hit Europe's debt crisis expanded to trigger a global recession.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rose 0.9 percent to C$46.42 to lead the sector. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) was up 1 percent to C$52.70.

Energy stocks also finished up 0.5 percent, after oil prices responded positively to Berlusconi's resignation.

And Canadian base metals mining stocks rose 1.5 percent on the day, driven by Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which jumped 2.4 percent to C$40.25.

"The current prices for copper, oil and gold imply a very, very healthy return for the top producing miners on the TSX," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote) shares gained 4.1 percent to finish at C$22.99 and Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) was up 0.7 percent to C$49.62.   Continued...