TSX rallies to 2-month high on China data, Alcoa

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:57pm EST
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's commodity-heavy stock index hit its highest level in two months on Tuesday as healthy Chinese import data and a constructive outlook from U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa (AA.N: Quote) boosted confidence in resources and the global economy.

Base metal miners were among the most influential gainers, jumping 3.2 percent, as copper prices surged on stronger than expected Chinese imports, which brightened the demand outlook for industrial metals. <MET/L>

Prospects of easier monetary policies in China and a bullish demand forecast from Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, also added to the upbeat tone, giving investors a respite from European debt concerns.

"The big news for next week couple weeks will be the focus on earnings, and especially if corporate earnings are not disastrous, so even if the outlook is positive, that might lead to renewed confidence among investors to get back into the market," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice-president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Renewed optimism about U.S. economic growth also underpinned gold, oil and other resource prices.<GOL/> <O/R>

Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) led the gains by material issues, rising more than 4 percent to C$44.36 on the bullish data from China, the world's largest buyer of fertilizer.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 2.9 percent at C$32.82, and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote), up 7 percent at C$23.10, rounded out the top three gainers.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 73.94 points, or 0.61 percent, at 12,270.66. It touched a high of 12,346.82, its best level since November 9, before easing.   Continued...