CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 7-week high as sentiment for resources brightens
* TSX rises 57.74 points, or 0.46 percent, to 12,742.87 * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance * Gold miners jump 5 percent as bullion climbs * Goldcorp has biggest positive impact on index * Maple Leaf Foods advances on plans to sell farms By John Tilak TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose to its highest level in seven weeks on Monday as higher commodity prices lifted sentiment on the natural resource-heavy market. The bullion price jumped more than 2 percent to a one-month high, helped by weakness in the U.S. dollar and by a lessening of concern that the U.S. Federal Reserve will quickly dial back its stimulus program. The Toronto index's gold-mining sector was up almost 5 percent. Brent crude also climbed, supporting shares of oil and gas producers. "We're seeing a little bit of a recovery in the commodities sector," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. "People are jumping on the oils," he added. "I'm not convinced that we've turned the corner yet, but obviously some people are." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 57.74 points, or 0.46 percent, at 12,742.87, after touching 12,749.17, its highest point since May 30. The appetite for Canadian stocks has been battered this year by a commodities slump, but there have been signs of strengthening and the index has posted four straight weeks of gains. Monday's rise was the fourth session of gains in a row and the index outperformed the S&P 500 index last week. It may still be too early to say that sentiment for Canadian equities has shifted, Cockfield said. "But let's say that the first robin has landed. It's the first indication that things may be changing." Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Monday. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, jumped 3 percent, boosted by soaring shares of gold miners. Goldcorp Inc shot up 5.3 percent to C$29.83, and had the biggest positive influence on the index. Barrick Gold Corp jumped 5.9 percent to C$18.17. Shares of energy companies climbed 0.2 percent. Enbridge Inc added 0.5 percent to C$46.81, and Suncor Energy Inc rose 0.2 percent to C$33.06. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gained 0.3 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 0.5 percent, at C$88.05. In company news, meat processor Maple Leaf Foods Inc said it plans to sell its Ontario turkey farms and hatchery, sending its shares up 1.7 percent to C$15.71.
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