CANADA STOCKS-TSX surges on gas prices, strong data

Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:34pm EST
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 * TSX up 0.75 percent at 11,464.57
 * 8 of index's 10 subgroups rise, energy leads the way
 (Adds details, comments)
 By Cameron French
 TORONTO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
pushed higher on Thursday, helped by strong U.S. and Canadian
trade data, as well as a sharp rise in natural gas prices,
which drove oil and gas producers higher.
 Gas futures jumped 8 percent on the New York Mercantile
Exchange, spurred by cold weather forecasts and reports of
shrinking inventories. [ID:nN10213740]
 In Toronto, Suncor Energy SU.TO rose 3.3 percent to
C$36.80, while Talisman Energy TLM.TO gained 2.9 percent to
C$18.02. The index's energy sector ended the session up 1.79
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 85.35 points,
or 0.75 percent, higher at 11,464.57. Eight of its 10 subgroups
rose on the day.
 For the second straight day, the index rose sharply in the
final hours of trading, which is a sign that cautious investors
are gaining confidence at current levels, said Elvis Picardo,
analyst at Global Securities in Vancouver.
 "It does seem that optimism is getting the upper hand here
because you're seeing the market able to hold on to the gains
as we go into the close," he said.
 That confidence was helped by data showing that Canada
unexpectedly returned to a trade surplus in October after three
months of deficits [ID:nN10154628], and that the U.S. trade
deficit shrank 7.6 percent in the month as a weak U.S. dollar
boosted exports. [ID:nN10156007].
 ($1=$1.05 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)