March 31, 2011 / 3:11 PM / in 6 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX follows commodities, Bombardier higher

   * TSX up 62.49 points, or 0.44 pct, at 14,146.08
 * Five of the index’s 10 main groups higher
 * Bombardier surges more than 11 percent  (Updates with details, comment)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, March 31 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index climbed higher on Thursday, buoyed by rising commodity prices and positive news from aircraft maker Bombardier Inc.
 Bombardier (BBDb.TO) soared 11.11 percent to C$7.00, and was among the most influential gainers. The company reported an 82 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings as business jet orders picked up dramatically and it announced a $278 million contract for new trains.
 The overall industrials sector led advances with a 1.49 percent rise. [ID:nL3E7EV1SN]
 The materials group, home to mining companies, rose 0.91 percent as gold prices firmed. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up 1.26 percent at C$50.71 while Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) gained 1.17 percent to C$12.11.
 Gold tracked 1 percent higher as weakness in the U.S. dollar, debt worries in the euro zone and violence across the Middle East and North Africa drove investors toward the safe haven metal. [GOL/]
 Oil and gas stocks gained 0.51 percent, with Suncor Energy (SU.TO) climbing 1.52 percent to C$44.03 and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) rising 0.94 percent to C$48.44.
 Energy firms found support in stronger crude prices, which rose on heightened concerns over supply from the Middle East amid ongoing turmoil in the region. [O/R]
 At 10:25 a.m. (1425 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was ahead 62.49 points, or 0.44 percent, at 14,146.08. Five of the index’s 10 main groups advanced.
 “Today’s all about commodities recovering after having a selloff most of this week,” said Barry Schwartz, vice-president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
 “Pretty bullish feelings out there, because the economy is showing such strong output. Each time we get these outside shocks, these geopolitical events, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the rally.”
 Schwartz noted that upbeat economic indicators out of the United States, Canada’s biggest trading partner, outweighed the impact of healthy domestic data. [ID:nN31253973]
 Canada’s gross domestic product figures, released early on Thursday, showed manufacturing grew at its fastest rate in eight years and helped boost the overall economy by 0.5 percent. [ID:nN31251300].
 “That being said of course, as Canada continues to put out these terrific economic numbers, this may make foreign investors look into Canadian companies, maybe taking them over, or getting a foothold into Canada, which would be very good not only for the stock market but also for our economy.”
  Capping some of the gains was a skid by diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which fell 1.4 percent to C$52.00.
 Concerns over slackening demand in China are driving copper prices lower, even as the metal looks to strengthen over the long term on tightening supply. [MET/L]
 ($1=$0.97 Canadian)  (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)                                        

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