TSX edges higher to notch 4 percent monthly gain

Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:36pm EST
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX ended a hair higher in cautious trade on Tuesday, adding to a January rally that brought it 4 percent higher on the month.

Stocks leading the way included Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote), up 1 percent at C$76.25, and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote), which rose nearly 2 percent at C$47.78 after reporting a sharply higher quarterly profit on Tuesday.

"We've had a pretty nice rally," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, referring to the index's performance in January.

"I'm actually quite encouraged about what's going on because you'd think there'd be some profit-taking coming in here. I'll take treading water in this environment anytime."

Trading was subdued in a market undermined by some bleaker U.S. and Canadian economic data and gripped by caution over which way the euro zone debt crisis would turn.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up 15.73 points, or 0.13 percent, at 12,452.15. Eight of its 10 main sectors ended higher, with the mining-heavy materials group off 0.05 percent, and consumer discretionary shares down by 0.09 percent.

The index finished up 4.2 percent for the month.

Sid Mokhtari, market technician and a director of institutional equity research at CIBC World Markets, said technical levels were at play in keeping the index higher.   Continued...

<p>People walk by a Bay Street sign inside the financial district in Toronto October 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>