CANADA STOCKS-TSX notches biggest gain since January

Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:11pm EDT
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* TSX rises 173.70 points, or 1.4 pct, to 12,200.46
    * Biggest one-day gain since Jan. 3
    * Commodities, insurers lead market higher

    By Claire Sibonney	
    TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
notched its biggest gain since early January on Thursday,
recovering from a string of losses, after lower yields on some
euro-zone debt and rumors of strong Chinese growth lifted
commodity and financial shares.	
    Canadian Natural Resources jumped 4.2 percent to
C$33.00, Manulife Financial advanced 5.2 percent to
C$13.28 and Suncor Energy added 2.3 percent to C$30.82.	
    Gold miners were also sharply higher. Eldorado Gold 
 surged nearly 11 percent to C$14.31 after the company said it
expects annual gold production to touch 1.7 million ounces
within five years as it brings new mines into production.
    Barrick Gold climbed 2 percent to C$42.03 and
Goldcorp Inc was up 2.6 percent to C$41.85.	
    "The (commodity) stocks have been lagging very badly. The
gold stocks have been discounting about $1,000 gold and oil
stocks have been discounting about $80 oil and ... some of the
(base metals) just got ridiculously cheap," said John Kinsey,
portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.	
    "They are nowhere near caught up yet, so hopefully they've
put in a bottom."	
     At 2:33 p.m. (1833 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 173.70 points, or 1.44
percent, at 12,200.46. Earlier, the index hit an high of
12,207.73, its strongest level since Jan. 3.	
    It was the second advance for the index after a five-day
    Lower Italian bond yields eased some euro zone concerns. The
market also got a lift from talk China's gross domestic product
data due tonight would surprise on the upside.	
    Market participants on Thursday also cited some encouraging
remarks by U.S. and European policymakers in the previous
    European Central Bank executive board member Benoit Coeure
sought to calm nerves about European debt markets, saying the
ECB still has its bond-buying program as an option to ease
funding pressures for indebted countries. 	
    Also on Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve's influential
vice-chair Janet Yellen said the Fed's ultra-easy monetary
policy was appropriate given high unemployment and the headwinds
facing the economy, and left the door open to further action if
    "Investors always forget that policymakers and government
officials have the ability to intervene in times of stress and
adding some calming words doesn't hurt," said Barry Schwartz,
vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial
    "The doom and gloom can only last for so long...people are
sniffing around for bargains."	
    In a sign that the U.S. labor market's recovery may be
stalling, government data showed new U.S. claims for
unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week to their
highest level since January.