Toronto stocks jump 200 points, shrug off worries

Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:36am EDT
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TORONTO, March 24 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index shot up more than 200 points by midmorning on Monday as investors temporarily shrugged off worries about the crumbling global economy.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 215.96 points, or 1.7 percent, at 12,991.60.

All 10 of the TSX index's main groups were higher, led by a 2 percent gain in the heavily weighted financial shares and a 2.4 percent boost from the commodity-leaden materials group. The gold subsector was up 0.9 percent.

This follows a disappointing performance last week when the key index dived 3.6 percent amid weak commodities and uncertainty about the health of the global economy.

Still, some analysts believed the advance is a temporary blip in an otherwise shaky market.

"There was just so much turmoil last week, so maybe people are reassessing now what's happening going forward," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung and Co Investment Counsel.

"I certainly don't think fears of recession have been mitigated in any way. The same worries that we faced last week are still there and over the next couple of weeks we are going to see more of the same in terms of volatile markets."

A few key reports on the U.S. housing situation could shape the week's activity, including single family home sales on Wednesday.

Financial issues were led higher by the country's biggest banks. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the country's biggest bank, added 56 Canadian cents to C$47.24 and Bank of Montreal BMO.TO, added C$1.92 to C$46.43.   Continued...