3 Min Read
* TSX up 95.86 points, or 0.8 pct, at 12,473.76
* All 10 sectors stronger
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, March 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index surged about 100 points higher on Thursday after a choppy start, helped by a stream of U.S. data that signaled the economy of Canada's largest trading partner continues to mend and by stabilizing commodity prices.
Among the top gainers were financials, up 0.7 percent, and recently pummeled gold mining shares, up 1.2 percent.
Barrick Gold rose 2.1 percent to C$43.77, while Bank of Nova Scotia climbed 0.9 percent to C$54.73.
Gold prices edged up after shedding nearly 2 percent in the previous session as growing investor optimism on the outlook for the U.S. economy boosted the greenback and riskier assets like stocks at the expense of the safe-haven precious metal.
"Gold really got trashed yesterday here and the gold stocks have been under pressure ... today they're kind of trying to rally a little bit as might be expected," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
"The financials, here again, are wanting to do a little bit better, which is good because they came off with maybe a little bit of profit-taking earlier this week as well. But it's a long war and it's March break and quadruple witching, so there are things going on, but on balance it's been pretty ho-hum."
Kinsey noted insurance companies also benefited from news of rising bond yields south of the border.
At 10:25 a.m. (1425 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 95.86 points, or 0.77 percent, at 12,473.76. All of the TSX's 10 main sectors were in positive territory.
Investors were encouraged by U.S. Labor Department data on Thursday that showed new claims for unemployment benefits fell back to a four-year low last week, and producer prices, excluding food and energy, were contained.
The New York Federal Reserve also said the pace of manufacturing in the state picked up modestly in March.
Market players expected more volatility ahead of Friday's quadruple witching expiration, which marks when not only equity options expire, but also stock index futures, stock index options and individual stock futures.
In individual company news, Quebecor Inc. advanced 1.1 percent to C$36.40 after the media conglomerate reported its quarterly profit rose 83 percent, helped in part by lower expenses and strength in its telecoms business.
Transat AT Inc. plunged 5.4 percent to C$6.15 after the holiday travel operator reported a wider first-quarter loss, hurt mainly by high aviation fuel costs.