CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends at 15-month high on resource rally

Mon Jan 4, 2010 5:25pm EST
 
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* TSX up 1.03 pct at 11,866.90, highest since Sept 2008

* Commodity price gains drive rally

* Manufacturing activity in major economies rises

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market finished at its highest level in 15 months on Monday, rising more than 1 percent as soaring oil and gold prices and global manufacturing data suggested more improvement in the world economy.

Eight of the top 10 heavyweight advancers were resource-based stocks, including oil companies Suncor Energy SU.TO and EnCana Corp ECA.TO, as oil prices soared above $81 a barrel, and the prices of gold and other precious metals also rallied.

Overall, the index's energy group rose 2.29 percent, while its mining-heavy materials sector climbed 2.55 percent. Seven of the key index's 10 main groups higher. [O/R] [GOL/]

Suncor was the biggest heavyweight riser, up 2.9 percent to C$38.30, while EnCana shot up 4.7 percent to C$35.71. Diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO rallied 5.95 percent to C$39.01, while Barrick Gold ABX.TO rose 1.5 percent to C$42.08.

Manufacturing data from major economies reinforced evidence that a global recovery may be in motion. Chinese manufacturing grew at its fastest pace on record in December, while U.S. factories marked their best month in nearly four years. Other data showed strength in British and euro zone factory production growth. [ID:nSGE60301H]   Continued...