CANADA STOCKS-Apple, Fed talk fuel TSX rally

Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:40pm EDT
 
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* TSX ends up 130.96 pts, or 1.1 pct, to 12,111.06
    * Materials, financials, energy shares rise
    * Risk sentiment up on Apple earnings, U.S. Fed
    * Rogers Communications earnings weigh

    By Claire Sibonney	
    TORONTO, April 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
ended sharply higher on Wednesday, as Apple Inc's blowout
earnings boosted investor confidence, while the U.S. Federal
Reserve reiterated its expectation that interest rates would not
rise until late 2014 at the earliest. 	
    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank "would
not hesitate" to launch another round of bond purchases to drive
borrowing costs lower if it looked like the economy needed it,
triggering many riskier assets to extend gains. 	
    Nearly all of Canada's 10 main sectors were higher, led by
weighty resource shares.	
    Key gainers included Potash Corp, up nearly 4
percent to C$43.65, Canadian Natural Resources, up 3.4
percent to C$32.37, and Canadian National Railway, 1.9
percent higher at C$82.79.	
    "Anybody who didn't think that Ben Bernanke was going to say
what Ben Bernanke was going to say hasn't been listening," said
Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at Scotia McLeod.	
    "Interest rates aren't going anywhere anytime soon. They
still have hurdles to overcome in the United States, they're
working away at it, but he says he'll do what he needs to do.
I'm not ready to give up on him."	
    Bernanke also said the U.S. central bank "would not
hesitate" to launch another round of bond purchases to drive
borrowing costs lower if it looked like the economy needed it.	
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended up 130.96 points, or 1.1 percent, to 12,111.06.	
    On Wall Street, Apple's forecast-beating results
removed a weeks-old market overhang and lifted optimism in a
corporate earnings season that is already far outstripping
expectations. About 75 percent of the 200 companies in the S&P
500 that have reported results so far have beat expectations, a
rate that is above the norm. 	
    "The response from Canada is a little more muted, given the
fact we don't really have a (significant) tech sector," said
Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. 	
    Weighing on the TSX was a weaker-than-expected earnings
report on Tuesday from Canada's largest mobile phone company,
Rogers Communications Inc. Rogers shares fell nearly 6
percent to C$36.81 after it reported a 16 percent decline in
quarterly profit as rising competition hurt its cable and
wireless divisions.