CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises for 5th day on strong commodities

Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:18pm EDT
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* TSX rises 0.65 pct to 12,239.64

* Gains for fifth straight session, up 1.4 pct on week

* Energy, mining stocks lead broad market rise (Adds details)

By Cameron French

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index gained ground for a fifth consecutive day on Friday, rising within a whisper of a 19-month high as strong economic data and a weaker U.S. dollar boosted demand for resource stocks.

Data showing a surprising 27 percent jump in new U.S. home sales in March gave investors an early go-ahead to buy, analysts said, while the U.S. dollar was stung by a strengthening euro as worries about a European debt crisis abated.

Oil gained 1.7 percent during the session, pushing up the TSX energy subgroup by 1.54 percent. Sector heavyweight Suncor Energy SU.TO rose 2 percent to C$34.53, while EnCana Corp ECA.TO climbed 2.1 percent to C$32.67.

Metals prices also climbed, particularly gold, giving the materials sector a 1.04 percent gain. All 10 TSX subgroups finished the session stronger.

"Overall, I think the market was looking for an excuse to end on a positive note this week," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co Investment Counsel in Toronto.   Continued...