CANADA STOCKS-TSX lifted by optimistic economic data

Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:12pm EST
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* TSX closes up 0.55 percent at 13,239.47

* All 10 sectors stronger (Updates to close)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed higher on Friday after upbeat economic data at home and abroad boosted confidence and pushed up heavily weighted financial and resource stocks.

The index's financial sector finished the day up 0.9 percent, energy was up 0.2 percent, and materials shares were 0.5 percent higher.

The data-packed day was highlighted by figures that showed robust Chinese imports, shrinking Canadian and U.S. trade deficits and a rise in U.S. consumer confidence. [ID:nTOE6B901S] [ID:nN10267094] [ID:nN10163525]

"The economic data we had today was very bullish, it was very encouraging for the economic outlook ... and has supported the recent rotation into risk assets," said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.

"That's the tail wind of economic optimism that's filtering through the market and, of course, that gained huge traction this week with looser U.S. fiscal policy," he added, noting the deal between Democrats and Republicans to extend tax cuts.

Insurers such as Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote), which jumped 5.7 percent to C$16.89, were lifted by a profit picture made brighter by soaring bond yields and a broad rally in equity markets.   Continued...