October 30, 2012 / 9:04 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 1-week high as investors assess Sandy hit

* TSX rises 64.30 points, or 0.52 percent, to 12,377.05

* Materials lead rally, led by Yamana

* Relief among some investors storm damage wasn’t worse

* Thin volumes as U.S. markets shut

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose on Tuesday led by materials stocks, though volume was lighter than usual, as investors sought to gauge the impact of storm Sandy on the United States.

Sandy, one of the biggest storms to ever hit the country, left at least 30 people dead and caused significant power disruptions, though some market players had expected even more devastation.

“It’s a pretty broad-based move,” Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver, said of the market’s rise. “It reflects some relief that the storm hasn’t caused as much damage as people had expected.”

After opening lower, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended the day up 64.30 points, or 0.52 percent, at 12,377.05.

The index touched a one-week high of 12,395.43, while all but one of the 10 main index subgroups were positive.

Financials, which make up nearly one-third of the index, rose 0.44 percent, led by insurer Manulife Financial, up 1.1 percent at C$12.27.

After markets closed, Manulife said its exposure to Sandy was manageable and within its risk tolerance.

Materials stocks rose 1 percent rise. Yamana Gold gained 3.8 percent at C$19.48, after the gold miner maintained its production outlook for the year and said its development projects are on time and on budget.

Smaller gold mining rival Osisko Mining climbed 4.2 percent to C$9.61.

ENERGY STOCKS CLIMB

The energy subgroup, one of the index’s largest sectors, gained 0.36 percent, despite a sharp decline near the close. Investors bought energy shares even though Brent crude prices fell.

Encana Corp rose 1.4 percent to C$23.15, while Canadian Oil Sands Ltd climbed 2.9 percent to C$21.20 after the company posted a 40 percent rise in third-quarter profit.

However, the Canadian market felt the effect of the closure of U.S. stock markets for a second straight day, with trading volumes light.

“The disruption caused by the storm with the closure of the financial markets in the United States is having the major effect,” said Gavin Graham, president of Graham Investment Strategy. “Given how lackluster the trading is, how low the volumes are, people are very reluctant to take positions.”

Despite a late surge in trading volume, activity on the Toronto exchange was a sparse 178.3 million, versus the 356.4 million daily average in September, the last complete month of statistics provided by the exchange.

Among individual movers, engine developer Westport Innovations plunged 14.4 percent to C$24.19 a day after it cut its full-year revenue growth forecast to about 30 percent from 50 percent.

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