CANADA STOCKS-TSX rides resource strength to one-week high

Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:10pm EST
 
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   * TSX gains 1.55 percent to 13,465.75
 * Nine groups rise; materials up 3.64 pct, oil up 2.37 pct
 * Financials sole declining sector
 (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
surged on Wednesday, hitting its highest level in a week, led
by commodity issues after the U.S. Federal Reserve left
interest rates unchanged and said it would keep its bond-buying
plan intact.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE finished up 206.12 points, or 1.55 percent, at
13,465.75, its highest level since Jan. 19.
 Nine of the index's 10 main sectors gained, led by a 3.64
percent jump in materials and 2.37 percent advance in oil and
gas.
 The top six heavyweight blue-chip advancers were all up
more than 3 percent: Suncor Energy SU.TO to C$39.10, Barrick
Gold ABX.TO to C$47.59, and Potash Corp POT.TO ending at
C$167.38. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO surged to
C$42.64, while Goldcorp G.TO climbed to C$41.21. Teck
Resources TCKb.TO finished at C$60.91.
 "We're pretty much hitting on all cylinders," said Peter
Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Wealth Management
in Waterloo, Ontario.
 Rising commodity prices supported the resource-laden index,
climbing first after U.S. President Barack Obama's call for
spending cuts and lower corporate taxes. Further gains were
made after the U.S. Federal Reserve maintained its ultra-loose
monetary policy.
 The Fed gave the U.S. economy a lukewarm assessment,
despite recent signs the recovery was strengthening, saying
high unemployment still justified its $600 billion bond-buying
program. [ID:nN25283937]
 Also lifting market sentiment on both sides of the border
was data showing new U.S. single-family home sales in December
rose to their highest level in eight months and prices were the
highest since April 2008. [ID:nN26138186]
 But financials were the one weak spot on the TSX, down 0.17
percent.
 Chandler said there may be lingering uncertainty as to when
the country's biggest banks would raise dividends.
 Four of the five large banks were lower on the session,
except for Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO, which bucked the trend
and closed up 0.18 percent at C$56.15.
 Individual company stocks were also moving higher as
earnings season started to ramp up.
 Canadian Pacific Railway CP.TO shares hit their highest
level since July 2008 after the company a better than expected
quarterly profit. CP, often a barometer of economic health,
rose 2.91 percent to finish at C$68.26. [ID:nSGE70O0EF]
 Business services company CGI Group Inc GIBa.TO jumped
5.02 percent to C$19.68 after its first-quarter profit was
boosted by new contracts and its Stanley Inc acquisition last
year. [ID:nSGE70P066]
 However, shares of Metro Inc MRUa.TO fell 1.7 percent to
C$42.88. The No. 3 grocer posted a lower first-quarter profit
on Tuesday and its revenue fell short of forecasts as
holiday-season competition pulled down food prices.
[ID:nN25246122]
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)