3 Min Read
* TSX rises for 2nd straight day, up 1.03 pct at 10,787.15
* Third weekly gain, fifth straight monthly advance
* Market shrugs off weak Canada GDP, focuses on U.S.
* Market closed on Monday for Civic Holiday (Adds paragraphs 8-10)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, July 31 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose for a second straight session on Friday, showing strength across most sectors and underpinned by hopes for an economic recovery.
Commodity prices also aided the rise in the resource-heavy index, with oil turning higher from early weakness and gold jumping to session highs.
A tug-of-war between a darker GDP report in Canada and a brighter one in the United States made for choppy trading in the early hours of the session, but the TSX was comfortably higher from late morning onward. [ID:nN31416560] [ID:nN31434455]
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 110.43 points, or 1.03 percent, at 10,787.15. Eight of its 10 main sectors were higher, with gains of about 1 percent in each of the heavyweight financials and energy groups, while the materials group climbed 2.27 percent.
Heavyweight gainers came from all three of those key sectors, with miner Goldcorp (G.TO) leading the way, rising 3.78 percent to C$40.93. Oil company EnCana (ECA.TO) was not far behind with a 1.99 percent gain to C$57.78, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) climbed 1.54 percent to C$63.11.
Investors set aside initial worries from data showing a drop in U.S. consumer spending, and embraced a report showing business activity in the U.S. Midwest in July rose to its highest level since last September. [ID:nN31421044]
"Numbers in the States this morning weren't too bad. Personal consumption was weaker, which was a bit of a concern, but the Chicago PMI came out as expected, which dissipated that number," said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
A recent string of strong corporate earnings was also seen as a sign the global economy may be on the path to recovery.
CIBC World Markets said 56 percent of TSX firms have beaten earnings expectations so far in the second quarter. Excluding the energy sector, which has reported a "disproportionate share of misses", the number rises to just over 60 percent.
Still to report are the big Canadian banks and insurers.
The TSX index rose for the fifth straight month in July, up 4 percent, and the final session featured month-end rebalancing and thin volumes ahead of a long weekend.
The Toronto Stock Exchange will be closed on Monday, a holiday in much of the country.
$1=$1.08 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway