May 6, 2009 / 9:12 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Resources, financials push TSX past 10,000

3 Min Read

* TSX finishes at 10,143.43, highest since Nov 4

* Energy, up 4.8 pct, leads market higher as oil climbs

* U.S., Canadian data supports rally (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, May 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index shot through the 10,000-mark to its highest close in six months on Wednesday as resource and financial issues led a rally fueled by optimism that the global economy is stabilizing.

Aiding the sentiment was stronger-than-expected economic data from Canada and the United States, particularly a private-sector U.S. employment report that showed job losses slowed dramatically last month. [ID:nN06133099]

In Canada, purchasing activity rose and building permits surged unexpectedly. [ID:nN06546133]

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 262.71 points, or 2.7 percent, at 10,143.43, its highest close since Nov. 4. Earlier, it had climbed to 10,158.20.

"I think, psychologically, it's very important because investors use nice round numbers like 10,000 as benchmarks on where the market is," said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.

"It's greater confidence that even if the world economy isn't at the bottom now it's getting very close, and that we're beginning to see signs that things may start improving."

Seven of the index's 10 main sectors rose. The energy and materials groups climbed 4.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, as oil jumped $2.50 to a five-month high of $56.34 a barrel and U.S. gold settled up $6.70 at $911.00 an ounce. The financial group gained 3.1 percent.

The three sectors make up nearly three-quarters of the index's weighting.

Despite the sharp gains, Warne and other market watchers are still wary of calling the end of the market downturn.

"Nobody knows, ever, what the market is going to do short term, and I certainly wouldn't expect the market continue to move higher every day on optimism," she said.

Still, the TSX is up about 30 percent from March lows.

"There are a lot smiling faces on Bay Street right now," said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.

"We're seeing the strength in the Canadian dollar, which is on the strength in commodities. That's certainly a catalyst for the Canadian market."

Canada's currency shot to its highest level in six months, tracking big gains on equity markets, the surge in oil prices and the upbeat domestic data. [ID:nN06285642]

The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 17.01 points, or 2.84 percent, higher at 616.73.

Top gainers were Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), up 5.4 percent at C$22.74, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO), up 7.2 percent at C$35.19. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) climbed 3.1 percent to C$45.

The health care group was down 2.3 percent, pressured by Biovail BVF.TO, which fell 13.1 percent to C$11.65 after the drugmaker slashed its dividend by 76 percent. [ID:nN06260454] ($1=$1.17 Canadian) (Editing by Jeffrey Jones)

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