CANADA STOCKS-Economic data spurs TSX to biggest jump in 2 weeks

Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:09pm EDT
 
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* TSX rises 101.27 points, or 0.81 percent, to 12,674.35
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Suncor has biggest positive influence on market
    * Barrick gains after plans to sell mines in Australia

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
recorded its biggest daily percentage gain in two weeks after
strong economic data from China, Europe and the United States
fed optimism about the global economy.
    The brighter economic outlook boosted commodity prices and
fueled a spike in shares of metals and mining companies. Most of
the other major sectors, including the financial and energy
groups, also advanced.
    Manufacturing activity climbed to its highest in months in
both the United States and China, while it topped expectations
in Europe.  
    Additional data showed the number of Americans filing new
claims for jobless benefits last week held near a six-year low.
 
    Investors, who have been fixated on what the U.S. Federal
Reserve might do next, were encouraged by the economic numbers. 
    "The attention is starting to shift more to the economic
data," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner
Investment Partners, a unit of Richardson GMP. "Recent data has
been more positive, and it has been helping the cyclical areas
of the market."
    "The fact that we've seen some stabilization in commodity
prices and in commodity producers shows that investors are
seeing some value," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 101.27 points, or 0.81 percent, at
12,674.35. 
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Stronger oil prices helped energy producers climb almost 1
percent. Suncor Energy Inc gained 1.5 percent to $35.38
and had the biggest positive influence on the market.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
advanced 0.5 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank added 0.7
percent to C$87.97, and Manulife Financial Corp gained
2.2 percent to C$17.49.
    The sharpest jump came from the materials sector, which
includes mining stocks. The group added 2.3 percent. 
    Teck Resources Ltd was up 4 percent to C$27.33,
and Barrick Gold Corp rose 3.1 percent to C$20.57.
    Barrick, the world's largest gold producer, also benefited
from news that it agreed to sell three of its high-cost gold
mines in Australia to Gold Fields Ltd for $300 million.
 
    Industrials advanced 1.6 percent, with Canadian Pacific
Railway Ltd rising 3.6 percent to C$128.33.