CANADA STOCKS-TSX up as dark data shines light on stimulus

Fri Feb 6, 2009 5:22pm EST
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* TSX touches highest level since Jan. 9

* Stock gains fueled by hopes for U.S. stimulus plan

* Canadian and U.S. economies bleed jobs in January (Adds details, quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed higher for a fourth straight session on Friday in a broad rally as dismal U.S. jobs data fueled hopes for a U.S. stimulus package to help combat the recession.

The index finished the week up 3.6 percent, rising for a second consecutive week and recording the strongest weekly increase since mid-December.

The three pillars of the index kept the market higher with the materials sector up 2.2 percent, and financials up 1.8 percent. The energy sector rose 1.6 percent.

Key stocks on the upside included fertilizer company Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote), up 4.4 percent at C$110.80, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote), which rose 4.02 percent to C$21.23, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 3.4 percent at C$25.49.

Much of the optimism focused on Washington's stimulus package and a plan, expected to be announced on Monday, to rescue the ailing banking sector. [ID:nN05403943]   Continued...