CANADA STOCKS-TSX marks biggest gain in 6 wks on China, US data
* TSX ends up 114.88 points, or 0.93 percent, at 12,507.06 * Eight of 10 sectors stronger as resources, banks climb * Strong Chinese manufacturing offsets weak euro zone data By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, April 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index notched its biggest gain in nearly six weeks o n M onday in a broad-based rally after upbeat Chinese and U.S. manufacturing data trumped further signs of economic weakness in Europe. China's official Purchasing Managers' Index hit an 11-month high, while data from the Institute for Supply Management showed the pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up even as measures of new orders and exports eased, underscoring how the economy is recovering at a gradual clip. Canada's resource-heavy index outperformed Wall Street as the brighter news from China in particular helped calm worries about demand prospects in the world's second-largest economy. The materials group was up 1.6 percent, energy shares rose 1.2 percent and financials added 0.6 percent. "It probably reinforces the fact that China is heading for a soft landing and not some kind of hard landing that is going to disrupt global growth," said Robert Kavcic, economist at BMO Capital Markets. "Overall, it's pretty clear that there's a move into cyclical sectors of the equity market today and that's no doubt helped by the economic data." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 114.88 points, or 0.93 percent, at 12,507.06, its biggest one-day jump since Feb. 21. Eight of the 10 sectors were in positive territory, with health care and technology lagging. Among the most influential climbers, Royal Bank of Canada rose 1.6 percent to C$58.74, Suncor Energy advanced 1.9 percent to C$33.20 and Canadian Natural Resources was up 2.1 percent to C$33.75. The better-than-expected reports from China and the United States offset data from Europe that showed the region's manufacturing sector shrank for an eighth straight month in March, highlighting the difficulties in getting the euro zone economy on track.
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