TSX climbs on commodity shares, Open Text soars

Thu Feb 2, 2012 4:47pm EST
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX finished higher on Thursday, supported by firmness in commodity-linked shares and a surge in Open Text OTC.TO after the business software company posted a big jump in quarterly profit.

Open Text rose 14.6 percent to C$60.34 and was a leading contributor to the index's rise after posting a 28 percent jump in quarterly profit on Wednesday on solid demand from services, technology and financial customers.

The index's information technology group, of which Open Text is a component, rose 3.7 percent.

Also on the upside was Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's biggest gold miner, which rose 0.9 percent to C$49.72, and helped the index's materials sector up nearly 1 percent.

Gold prices rose to a two-month high on Thursday on a larger-than-expected fall in new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits.

Energy shares climbed 0.6 percent, with Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) up 5.3 percent at C$19.87, as most U.S. natural gas prices rose on Thursday.

Trade was in a relatively narrow range, however, after the index rose 4.2 percent in January and with investors unwilling to make big bets ahead of the U.S. and Canadian employment reports for January on Friday.

"I think most markets are treading sideways ahead of the U.S. jobs report tomorrow," said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.   Continued...