CANADA STOCKS-TSX marks biggest gain in 6 wks on China, US data

Mon Apr 2, 2012 4:30pm EDT
 
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* 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.