CANADA STOCKS-Commodity rally drives up TSX by 100 points
* TSX ends up 100.66 points, or 0.71 pct, at 14,208.43
* Seven of 10 sectors advance (Updates with details, quotes)
By John McCrank
TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index surged 100 points on Friday as rallying commodity prices, including a record high for gold, gave a bid to heavily weighted resource shares.
Among the top gainers were Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote), up 2.38 percent at C$52.14, Silver Wheaton SLW.TO, up 2.96 percent at C$44.92, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 3.19 percent at C$44.67.
"The TSX seems to be bucking the trend as far as some of the other North American markets are concerned and that's largely because of our disproportionate weighting in commodities and energy, both of which are having a banner day today," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
Seven of the index's 10 sectors advanced, led by the energy group, up 1.74 percent, and the mining-heavy materials group, up 1.05 percent. Together those groups make up roughly half of the Toronto exchange's main index.
A weak greenback and intense fighting in Libya pushed U.S. crude prices above $113 a barrel, their highest level in 30 months, and Brent crude futures settled above $126 a barrel, for a 32-month high.
Meanwhile, the threat of a U.S. government shutdown, coupled with inflation fears, helped gold rise to a record high for the fourth straight day, touching $1,474.60 an ounce.
Silver rose 2.4 percent, and copper rose about 2 percent, to its highest level in a month. [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L]
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 100.66 points, or 0.71 percent, at 14,208.43.
Canada jobs data for March may have helped market sentiment. Although some jobs were unexpectedly lost, there was a surge in full-time employment, reflecting solid growth. [ID:nN08228750]
"The market has shrugged off the weak labor report, looking, I think, more at the details than the headline number with the loss of jobs," said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.
Media and telecom company Cogeco Inc CGO.TO and its main Cogeco Cable CCA.TO unit posted lower than expected quarterly profits on Friday, squeezed by rising costs, an early debt repayment and intense competition faced by a Portuguese operation. Shares of Cogeco ended down 0.75 percent at C$42.10.
Equinox Minerals EQN.TO gained 2.27 percent to C$7.67 after it said a $6.6 billion takeover bid from China's Minmetals Resources was too low, leaving the door open to a rival offer as miners vie for access to valuable copper deposits. [ID:nL3E7F801Y]
Loblaw Cos (L.TO: Quote) rose 2.35 percent to C$38.82 after the grocer said after market close on Thursday it plans to buy back up to 5 percent of its shares outstanding through a normal course issuer bid. [ID:nN07292640]
Shares of Toronto Stock Exchange owner TMX Group (X.TO: Quote) ended up 1.39 percent at C$39.40. An Ontario legislator who is critical of the proposed C$3 billion ($3.1 billion) takeover of TMX by the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L: Quote) said he plans to issue a minority report that opposes the recommendations set to come from a legislative panel. That raised the prospect that the TMX takeover proposal will get at least conditional approval from the panel's majority report. [ID:nN08291885]
For the week, the TSX ended up 0.55 percent, but if oil prices stay high, the story next week may be different, Picardo said.
"In recent weeks we've seen this tendency for the market to get nervous whenever crude oil spikes," he said. "That tends to pull down the TSX because suddenly you have growth concerns that manifest themselves."
Warne said that next week the market's focus will be primarily on first-quarter earnings out of the United States.
"Whatever we're hearing about companies' first quarter results as well as what they're saying current conditions are tends to drive stocks on both sides of the border," she said.
($1=$0.96 Canadian) (Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)
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