CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as U.S. data boosts sentiment

Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:42am EDT
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* TSX up 0.87 percent at 8,926.56

* Energy sector off 0.3 percent as oil slumps (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rallied on Wednesday morning as investor optimism over new U.S. economic data helped boost financials, while materials drew support from firmness in the price of gold.

Heavily weighted stocks that kept the market higher included Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote), up 2.3 percent at C$42.31, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote), up 2.5 percent at C$105.59, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), which climbed 1.9 percent to C$44.58.

The broader materials group rose 1.6 percent and financials were up 1.7 percent.

The Toronto market got a jolt from U.S. data that showed new orders for manufactured goods rose in February, for the first time in seven months [ID:nN25406066], while sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly rose at their fastest pace in 10 months in February. [ID:nN24363713]

"They were really extremely better than expected," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal, noting the data was a bright spot for the recession-hit global economy.

At 10:21 a.m. (1421 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 77.17 points, or 0.87 percent, at 8,926.56, with eight of its 10 main groups higher.   Continued...