CANADA STOCKS-TSX surges on commodities, U.S. data

Tue Feb 1, 2011 5:29pm EST
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 * TSX rises 160.63 points, or 1.19 pct, to 13,712.62
 * Manufacturing data spurs recovery hopes
 (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng and Pav Jordan
 TORONTO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed sharply higher on Tuesday, driven by strong commodity
prices and positive economic data out of the United States,
which reinforced growth expectations in Canada.
  Figures showing the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in
January and that prices paid jumped more than expected helped
drive investor optimism and the Toronto rally was
correspondingly broad-based with gold miners, financials, and
technology and healthcare stocks all rising.
  "Over the last few days we've seen good news on the
Canadian economy, with November GDP growth coming in a bit
stronger than expected," said Kate Warne, a Canada market
strategist at Edward Jones. "(The U.S. data) is a reinforcement
that the news we've seen in Canada is likely to continue."
  The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed up 160.63 points, or 1.19 percent, at
13,712.62. The index's 10 main sectors all rose, led by a 2.28
percent climb in the mining-heavy materials group.
 Shares of fertilizer giant Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote), the
subject of a failed takeover attempt last year, closed up 2.14
percent, and base metals and coal miner Teck Resources
TCKb.TO rose 2.92 percent.
 Commodity prices were largely stronger on Tuesday as copper
hit a record high and gold began the new month firmer after a
heavy January loss.
 Shares of First Quantum (FM.TO: Quote), a mid-size copper
producer, surged 5.52 percent.
  "I think commodities are driving the market in part,"
Warne said. "But I think the gains are more broadly based,
largely due to the goods and manufacturing report from the U.S.
and very strong earnings out of the U.S."
 Canadian financials also turned in a robust performance,
led by No. 1 insurer Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote) and its
close rival Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO: Quote), which closed up 2.87
percent and 2.28 percent respectively.
 Shares of Canada's top banks also rose ahead of earnings
slated to start coming in later this month, with No. 3 Bank of
Nova Scotia BNS.TO leading the pack with a 1.72 percent rise.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) shares rose 1.53 percent and
stock in No. 1 lender Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) closed 1.21
percent higher.
 Decliners on Tuesday were led by oil company Opti Canada
Inc OPC.TO, whose shares fell 34.78 percent. Opti, under
financial pressure due to lower-than-expected Alberta oil sands
output, said on Tuesday it has hired a new financial adviser to
assist in a search for strategic options, which include asset
sales or finding a buyer for the company.
 Uranium producers were in the spotlight again, adding to
recent gains as spot uranium is currently selling for $70 a
pound, having risen more than 65 percent since June.
 Cameco Corp (CCO.TO: Quote) rose for a third straight session,
adding 1.61 percent to C$42.18 amid news that Kazakhstan, where
the company has a mine, is eyeing 10 percent growth in uranium
production this year.
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)