July 22, 2011 / 9:49 PM / in 6 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits near 7-week high on commodity price jump

   * TSX up 60.33 points, or 0.45 percent at 13,494.63
 * Seven of 10 main sectors higher
 * Mining, energy drive gains as resource prices rally  (Adds further details)
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed at its highest level in nearly seven weeks on Friday, as mining and energy company shares rallied on stronger commodity prices.
 The materials sector, home to influential gold and base metal miners, led the index with a 1.42 percent rise. Energy stocks rose 0.38 percent. Together the sectors make up roughly 50 percent of the composite index.
 The market was led higher by GoldCorp (G.TO), up 2.57 percent to C$51.47, Potash Corp  (POT.TO), up 2.04 percent to C$58.50, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), up 1.6 percent to C$47.62.
 The price of gold stood about 1 percent higher, nearing the record high, as reservations over a bailout plan for debt-laden Greece and concerns over talks to raise the U.S. debt ceiling spurred safe-haven buying of precious metals. [GOL/]
 “No question gold is helping us out here today,” said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
 “I would imagine people are looking at (gold-mining stocks) and doing a double take, and wondering, ‘If gold is at $1600 an ounce, Barrick Gold and Goldcorp and the like have a license to print money.'”
 The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 60.33 points, or 0.45 percent, at 13,494.63. Seven of its 10 main groups were higher.
 It reached an intra-day high of 13,516.17, its strongest level since June 6.
 The Toronto market advanced along with commodity prices even as anxiety over the absence of a U.S. debt compromise and implementation of the second round of the Greek debt plan weighed on U.S. markets. [MKTS/GLOB]
 The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global commodities benchmark, rose 0.77 percent.
 “Commodities have themselves managed to buoy the Canadian stock market,” said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
 Other influential gainers on the index included Precision Drilling Corp (PD.TO), which reported a profit for a fourth straight quarter on Friday. Shares of Canada’s largest oil and gas drilling contractor were up 8.45 percent to C$16.69. [ID:nNL3E7IM1EX]
 Celestica Inc’s (CLS.TO) stock rose 10.57 percent to C$8.89 after the contract electronics manufacturer reported its quarterly profit tripled as new business awards pushed revenue higher.
 Decliners included Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO), which fell after it said five more senior executives are leaving in a shake-up of its Markets division, which has posted disappointing revenue growth amid slow sales of a key new product. [ID:nN1E76L0QZ]
($1=$0.95 Canadian)  (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)                  

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