CANADA STOCKS-TSX nears two-month high as China cuts interest rates

Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:40am EST
 
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* TSX up 63.83 points, or 0.42 percent, at 15,139.01
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * First Quantum jumps 8.4 percent, Teck rises 7.8 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
to its highest in nearly two months on Friday, driven by gains
in most major sectors, as investors cheered a move by China to
cut interest rates.
    The surprise announcement was the first time in two years
that China had cut rates, following signals that the pace of
growth in the world's second-biggest economy was slowing.
 
    The move helped drive gains in the prices of commodities
such as gold, copper and oil; and that pushed up shares in the
mining and energy sectors. The Canadian equity market is heavily
weighted in natural resource stocks, and the country is a major
exporter of commodities.
    The benchmark TSX was up for the sixth day and was on track
to record its sixth consecutive weekly gain, recovering from a
sharp market correction in October. 
    "It's remarkable how rapidly investors' opinion has changed
from the beginning of October, when it was gloom and
despondency," said Gavin Graham, chief strategy officer at
Integris Pension Management Corp. 
    "If you accept that the Chinese are cutting rates because
they want to actually get the economy moving forward again,
presumably that's going to lead to some rebound in commodity
prices," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 63.83 points, or 0.42 percent, at 15,139.01.
Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers rose 2.2 percent, with Suncor
Energy Inc gaining 2.3 percent to C$40.62 and Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd advancing 2.1 percent to C$43.04.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, climbed
1.6 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd shot up 8.4
percent to C$19.34, and Teck Resources Ltd jumped 7.8
percent to C$19.63.

 (Editing by James Dalgleish)