July 26, 2010 / 8:32 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises on optimism about economic recovery

* TSX up 31.86 points, or 0.27 percent, at 11,746.07

* Seven of 10 sectors higher

* Weak gold miners limit gains (Updates to close, adds quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, July 26 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended higher on Monday as strong U.S. corporate earnings and home-sales data boosted investor optimism about economic recovery.

The market mood was buoyed especially by FedEx Corp’s (FDX.N) move to raise its quarterly and full-year earnings forecasts. For details, see [ID:nN26199061]

Economically sensitive financial issues gained 0.9 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 0.8 percent at C$52.45, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) rising 1.7 percent to C$62.85, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) up 1.4 percent at C$72.92.

Strength in the big oil and gas sector, up 0.7 percent, also helped the index higher. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose 0.9 percent to C$33.68, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was up 0.2 percent at C$36.70.

“We got really upbeat guidance from FedEx,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services, who noted that the rosy outlook followed strong earnings from United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) earlier this month.

Both FedEx and UPS are considered proxies for global economic health because their package-delivery and services businesses expand during boom times and shrink in recessions.

“If they’re seeing a pick up in demand, increase in volumes, then that’s a very good sign. All of the sudden the market is focused less on the economic growth, which is slowing and more on the fact that, yes, it’s slowing but it’s going at a pretty good rate,” Schwartz said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the session up 31.86 points, or 0.27 percent, at 11,746.07, with seven of its 10 sectors higher.

Also keeping the market happy was U.S. data showing sales of new single-family homes rebounded strongly in June from the previous month’s record low. [ID:nN26203473]

Limiting the gains were gold miners, which fell as bullion prices lost their safe haven appeal on rising equities. [GOL/] Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s No. 1 gold producer, fell 1.7 percent to C$43.12.

$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway

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