3 Min Read
* TSX up 71.10 points at 12,199.99 * 7 of 10 main sectors higher * Materials, energy, financials lead the way * Poll shows Canada growth seen easing in 2012 By Jennifer Kwan TORONTO, April 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Thursday morning, supported by steady commodity prices and solid demand at a Spanish bond sale, with investors more upbeat about the global economic outlook. Key names on the upside included Potash Corp, up 1.4 percent at C$43.47, and Goldcorp, which rose 1.6 percent to C$41.15, while Suncor Energy rose 1.5 percent at C$31.70 as gold and oil prices climbed. The broader materials and energy sectors led the market higher. Also supportive was Royal Bank of Canada, which climbed half a percent to C$57.24, and Manulife Financial up 1.5 percent to C$13.42, helping financials higher. "We're getting a little bit better sentiment regarding global growth of late and what we've found is that the Canadian markets are obviously becoming increasingly sensitive to not only the economic trends domestically and even in the U.S. but around the globe," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. "As we get a little bit better sentiment and better data from China, emerging markets, even to some degree some relief in the European markets, that has really reflected positively." Still, Canada's economy will likely lag the United States this year, slowing compared with 2011 and probably falling short of cheerier economic forecasts touted by the Bank of Canada this week, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. While Canada will fare better than many of its Western peers, especially in Europe where many countries are in or close to recession, there was a sense of caution in the forecasts of around 30 economists polled over the past week. Europe was in the spotlight again on Thursday. Solid demand at Spain's bond sale gave a slight boost to global stocks and oil prices, but investors remained cautious due to wider concerns over the government's ability to tackle a ballooning deficit as its economy shrinks. At around 11:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 71.10 points, or 0.59 percent, at 12,199.99, with most of its 10 main sectors higher. In company news, Fibrek Inc, down 11 percent at 96 Canadian cents, was the most heavily traded stock by volume on the TSX. The Supreme Court of Canada on Wednesday effectively blocked the specialty pulp maker's private placement to Mercer International Inc by declining to hear Fibrek's appeal of a lower court decision, another setback to the companies' planned merger. African Barrick Gold reported a 17 percent fall in quarterly output, partly due to lower ore quality at its Buzwagi mine in Tanzania, prompting fears that the company might hit the low end of its full-year production outlook. ABG is a unit of Barrick Gold, which added 0.4 percent at C$40.82 on the TSX.