CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as US housing data fuels oil rally

Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:47pm EDT
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   * TSX up 78.78 points, or 0.59 percent, at 13,332.92
 * Eight of 10 main sectors stronger
 * U.S. housing starts spark rally
 (Updates to close)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, July 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed higher on Tuesday as investors were cheered by healthy
U.S. earnings and housing starts figures, which offered relief
from worries about the U.S. and European debt crises.
 U.S. housing starts jumped to a six-month high in June, up
14.6 percent from a month earlier, while building permits were
also unexpectedly higher.
 The report offered hope for the distressed U.S. housing
sector, which has been a major laggard in the economic
recovery. [ID:nN1E76I0AD]
 Prices for oil, copper and other key resources rallied in
response to the data, sending shares on Toronto's
commodity-heavy market higher.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed up 78.78 points, or 0.59 percent, at
13,332.92. Eight of the index's 10 main sectors were up, rising
on renewed hope for the U.S. economy.
 The oil and gas group posted the biggest gain, up 1.83
percent. [O/R] [MET/L]
 "The new housing starts actually beat estimates, and they
actually not just beat consensus, they beat the most optimistic
estimates out there," Marcus Xu  director of equity investments
at Genus Capital Management in Vancouver.
 "It's a bit of a surprise because we all know the U.S.
housing market has been one of the most disappointing
  Top advancers in Toronto were Suncor Energy SU.TO, up
2.24 percent at C$38.39, while Potash Corp POT.TO gained 2.34
percent to C$57.62. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO climbed
2.36 percent to C$40.42, while Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO
was up 1.46 percent at C$79.42.
 On the downside, gold miners slid 2.53 percent as bullion
prices eased from record highs as safe-haven demand dropped.
That weighed on the index's materials group, which declined
0.73 percent.
 News that U.S. President Barack Obama's support for a
bipartisan proposal that promises $3.75 trillion in
debt-reduction over 10 years also helped keep stocks
well-supported during the session.
 ($1=$0.95 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)