CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2-1/2 year high as global growth picture brightens

Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:50pm EST
 
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* TSX rises 80.20 points, or 0.59 percent, to 13,772.58
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Magna up after giving sales forecast

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on Wednesday to its highest in 2-1/2 years as the World
Bank's bullish forecast for global economic growth helped fuel
broad gains and higher oil prices provided support to energy
shares.
    The World Bank raised its forecast for global growth for the
first time in three years as advanced economies started to pick
up pace, led by the United States. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index has gained in
six of the last seven sessions, with its resource sectors, which
had a lackluster 2013, beginning to gather steam.
    "The market reaction was to be expected. It is very much
keeping with the thesis that strong global growth benefits the
TSX," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of
research at Global Securities in Vancouver.
    "People are definitely turning more positive about the
commodity groups," he added. "I believe that the TSX may
actually outperform the S&P 500 this year."
    In 2013, the TSX's growth trailed the S&P 500's 
performance.
    On Wednesday, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite
index closed up 80.20 points, or 0.59 percent, at
13,772.58, after touching 13,785.02, its strongest level since
mid-2011. 
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.6 percent. Manulife Financial Corp climbed 1.8
percent to C$21.96, and Royal Bank of Canada added 0.2
percent to C$71.06.
    Higher oil prices supported gains in the energy sector, with
Suncor Energy Inc advancing 0.3 percent to C$37.35.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained
1.7 percent. Barrick Gold Corp rose 1.5 percent to
C$19.78.
    Osisko Mining Corp said it was considering Goldcorp
Inc's unsolicited C$2.6 billion ($2.4 billion) takeover
proposal but viewed the 15 percent premium offered as "very
low". Osisko shares added 0.3 percent to C$6.25, but Goldcorp
shares slipped 0.3 percent to C$24.28. 
    Magna International Inc forecast 2014 sales below
analysts' expectations due to lower revenue in its complete
vehicle-assembly business. Shares in the auto parts maker were
nevertheless up 1.1 percent at C$93.12.