CANADA STOCKS-TSX gets lift from stronger commodities
* TSX up 37.86 points, or 0.31 pct, to 12,399.67 * Five of 10 main sectors higher * Air Canada shares plummet amid wildcat strikes By Jennifer Kwan TORONTO, March 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's resource-heavy main stock index bucked the broader global stocks trend and climbed on Friday as materials and energy issues, which make up some 40 percent of the market, rose on firmness in oil and gold prices. A mix of names led the market higher including Barrick Gold , which climbed 1.6 percent to C$43.75, and Goldcorp , higher by 1.7 percent to C$44.49, as the price of bullion climbed on a higher euro and weaker greenback. Silver Wheaton soared 4.6 percent to C$33.46 after the Vancouver-based company reported on Thursday a sharp rise in profit, helped by increased selling prices of silver and gold. Talisman Energy gained 1.2 percent to C$13.04 as the price of oil climbed on supply concerns. Analysts and traders said an uptick had occurred across the commodities complex after Thursday's disappointing Chinese manufacturing data and the euro zone PMI figures. Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy, said higher Canadian inflation numbers were also supportive for re source shares. Higher gasoline and food prices pushed up Canada's annual inflation rate a notch in February. Annual inflation hit 2.6 percent in the month, up from 2.5 percent in January but slightly below the 2.7 percent rate forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, according to Statistics Canada data on Friday. "Given the resource orientation of the Canadian market, it is a beneficiary of higher prices as long as those higher prices do actually have the ability to pass through and they're not getting their margins squeezed," said Graham. At around 10:15 a.m. (1415 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 37.86 points, or 0.31 percent, to 12,399.67, with half of its 10 main sectors higher. The Toronto market bucked the overseas trend. Global equities came under pressure on Friday, having touched eight-month peaks earlier in the week, as concerns resurfaced over the health of the Chinese and euro zone economies and a renewed focus on the debt burdens of Spain and Italy tempered some investors' enthusiasm. Air Canada, down 4.9 percent at 78 Canadian cents, was in the spotlight. Dozens of Air Canada flights were delayed or canceled on Friday after ground workers at airports in Toronto and Montreal staged wildcat strikes, and the government warned that police may have to be called in to deal with what it called an illegal work stoppage.
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