CANADA STOCKS-TSX touches one-month high on ECB hopes

Tue Aug 7, 2012 10:43am EDT
 
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* TSX up 170.17 pts, or 1.5 pct, at 11,832.71
    * Index hits highest level since July 5
    * Mining, energy shares lead gains
    * Sentiment boosted by hopes of further ECB action

    By Jon Cook
    TORONTO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index touched
a one-month high on Tuesday, led by energy and mining shares, as
riskier assets were boosted by expectations the European Central
Bank would act to combat the region's sovereign debt crisis.
    Global markets have enjoyed a strong run this week after the
ECB promised to buy bonds to ease the pressure on Spain and
Italy, albeit under strict conditions that have yet to be fully
worked out. 
    "It's taking the optimistic view that things are on the path
to improvement," said Philip Petursson, director of the
portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management. "The
leaders in Europe are being a little more serious about how
they're treating the issues."
    All of Canada's 10 main sectors were higher. The
heavily-weighted energy group led gains, climbing 2.5 percent as
oil prices rallied on supply worries. 
    The biggest gainers included Canadian Natural Resources  
, which rose 4.6 percent to C$29.25, Suncor Energy
, which gained 2.3 percent to C$32.35 and Cenovus Energy
, which was up 3.8 percent at C$32.57.
    The influential materials group, which includes miners,
jumped 2.5 percent as metal prices climbed. 
    Leading the way were top gold producers Barrick Gold
, up 2.4 percent at C$33.61, and Goldcorp Inc,
which climbed 1.8 percent to C$36.74.
    First Quantum Minerals rose 4.5 percent to C$19.82
on news the Canadian miner has partnered with a Zambian company
to develop a new copper mine in central Zambia, the company's
director said on Monday. 
    At 10:22 a.m. EDT (1422 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 170.17 points, or 1.5
percent, at 11,832.71. At one point the index touched 11,837.17,
its highest level since July 5.
    With markets closed in Canada on Monday, the TSX picked up
where it left off on Friday, rising after strong U.S. employment
numbers fueled a broad commodities rally.
    Petursson, however, questioned whether the latest upswing
was sustainable.
    "A lot of this rally has been bought on hope instead of
fact," he said. "I'm not entirely convinced we're out of the
woods."