TSX helped higher by U.S. confidence data

Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:41pm EST
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Tuesday as resource issues gained on higher metals prices and U.S. confidence data helped lift market sentiment.

The index's heavily weighted materials group led the gains, climbing 1.4 percent as mining issues benefited from rises in gold, silver and copper prices. <GOL/> <MET/L>

No. 2 Canadian gold producer Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) was the market leader, rising 2.9 percent to C$49.77 as bullion prices raced toward $1,800 an ounce. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's largest gold miner, was up 1.5 percent at C$49.25. <GOL/>

A surge in silver prices pushed Silver Wheaton SLW.TO shares up 2.9 percent to C$39.69.

U.S. consumer confidence rose to a one-year high in February, according to a survey that reflected optimism about the labor market as well as worries that rising oil prices could hurt the economy.

Consumer confidence is key in the United States as consumer spending makes up more than two-thirds of economic activity.

"It's very important because if you think the future looks a little better then you're willing to buy stocks or avoid selling stocks," said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities. "There's still cash on the sidelines and in the bond market."

The impact of the consumer confidence reading was tempered by data showing orders for U.S. durable goods fell the most in three years in January. Another report showed a decline in home prices in December.   Continued...

The Canadian flag is seen on top of a flagpole in the midst of high-rise buildings in the financial district of Toronto April 3, 2009.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch