CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends up on commodity prices, Italy hopes

Tue Nov 8, 2011 5:27pm EST
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   * TSX up 26.87 pts, or 0.2 pct at 12,488.85
 * Touches two-month high at 12,542.58
 * Italy PM's resignation boosts commodities
 (Updates with details, commentary)
 By Jon Cook
 TORONTO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rode
stronger oil and copper prices to finish higher on Tuesday, as
commodities markets reacted favorably to the news Italian
leader Silvio Berlusconi plans to resign.
 The news sent global equities and commodity prices higher
as Berlusconi's exit could ease the passage of unpopular
austerity measures needed to reduce debt and lower Italian
government bond yields. [MKTS/GLOB]
 The news was cheered by the Canadian financials sector,
which climbed 0.7 percent and led the TSX higher. Canadian
banks have little direct exposure to Europe, but their profits
would be hit Europe's debt crisis expanded to trigger a global
 Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO rose 0.9 percent to C$46.42 to
lead the sector. Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO was up 1 percent
to C$52.70.
 Energy stocks also finished up 0.5 percent, after oil
prices responded positively to Berlusconi's resignation. [O/R]
 And Canadian base metals mining stocks rose 1.5 percent on
the day, driven by Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which jumped 2.4
percent to C$40.25.
 "The current prices for copper, oil and gold imply a very,
very healthy return for the top producing miners on the TSX,"
said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial
 First Quantum Minerals FM.TO shares gained 4.1 percent to
finish at C$22.99 and Potash Corp POT.TO was up 0.7 percent
to C$49.62.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended up 26.87 points, or 0.22 percent, at 12,488.85.
The index touched 12,542.58, its best level since Sept. 9.
 Italy has displaced Greece as the focus of the euro zone's
sovereign debt crisis, with government bond yields nearing
unsustainable levels, which could force the EU's third largest
economy to seek a bailout that Europe cannot afford.
 "I don't think Italy is in the sort of shape that Greece
was in," said Douglas Davis, chief executive officer at
Davis-Rea. "At least they have a better infrastructure and a
more reliable revenue system, and I don't think it's nearly the
problem that Greece has been."
 Also pressuring broader gains, the gold-mining subsector
slipped 1.5 percent after gold prices retreated in the face of
a resolution to the Italian political situation. [GOL/]
 In company news, Iamgold Corp IMG.TO shares fell 2.4
percent to C$22.84, despite the gold miner reporting its
adjusted third quarter profit rose 182 percent, as gold
production rose 14 percent and higher bullion prices offset
rising costs. [ID:nN1E7A71PB]
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)
 (Additional reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Jeffrey