CANADA STOCKS-TSX racks up biggest gain since January

Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:54pm EDT
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* TSX ends up 187.89 points, or 1.6 pct, to 12,214.65
    * 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 as investors scooped up
beaten down financial and commodity shares after lower yields on
some euro-zone debt and rumors of a strong report on Chinese
    Canadian Natural Resources jumped 4.2 percent to
C$33.01, Manulife Financial surged 6.1 percent to
C$13.40 and Suncor Energy added 2.8 percent to C$30.95.	
    Gold miners were also sharply higher. Eldorado Gold 
 spiked more than 11 percent to C$14.37 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 1.8 percent to C$41.98 and
Goldcorp Inc was up 2.4 percent to C$41.79.	
    "It's been a pretty nice bounce-back the last couple of days
but ... my prediction is we're going to move somewhat sideways
for the next while," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung &
Co. Investment Counsel.	
    "We're still facing some severe problems over in Europe that
have got to be addressed and I think just as economic news
continues to come out the markets are going to over react, both
on the positive and negative side."	
    The Toronto stock market hit its lowest level of the year
this week and is up only 2 percent for 2012.	
    "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."	
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended up 187.89 points, or 1.56 percent, at 12,214.65.
Earlier it hit a high of 12,230.54, its strongest level since
Jan. 3.	
    It was the second advance for the index after a five-day
    Benchmark bond yields in Italy and Spain dropped following
this week's Italian debt auctions, while the euro hit a one-week
high against the U.S. dollar, indicating a reduction in
near-term concern about Europe's debt troubles. 	
    Market participants also cited expectations that China's
gross domestic product data, due tonight, would surprise on the
upside as a reason for gains in basic materials shares. But some
were skeptical of this rumor. 	
    Investors on Thursday were also buoyed by 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
    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.