TSX notches up largest one-day jump since November

Tue Jan 3, 2012 5:33pm EST
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto stocks kicked off the new year on Tuesday with their biggest one-day rise in more than a month as energy and mining issues were boosted by healthy economic data and hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve would further ease monetary policy.

Better than expected manufacturing, jobs and construction data from China, Germany and the United States helped rejuvenate commodity stocks and increased investor risk appetite in the first trading session of 2012.

"We started off with a bang and a lot of that was off better global economic data," said Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.

The day's surge began with Chinese data that showed the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 50.3 in December from 49 in November, indicating a slight expansion in business activity in the country's factory sector.

"The fact that speculation of a hard landing is proving to be largely unfounded in China is just allowing investors to take the foot off the brakes and re-accelerate," said Petursson.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 253.34 points, or 2.12 percent, at 12,208.43, its biggest one-day gain since November 30.

The TSX ended 2011 down more than 11 percent to record its first year-on-year decline since 2008.

Eight of its 10 main sectors were higher on Tuesday, led by a jump of more than 4 percent in the heavily weighted materials index.   Continued...