Positive U.S. data helps drive TSX higher
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index finished higher on Thursday as U.S. business productivity and weekly jobs data helped to lift investor confidence in the economic recovery.
The figures showed third-quarter business productivity grew at the fastest pace in six years and that new claims for jobless aid fell to a 10-month low last week, indicating the decline in the labor market may be hitting bottom.
"The U.S. productivity numbers basically shot the lights out. It was a really good print," said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd in Calgary.
Among the top Toronto gainers were Royal Bank of Canada, up 2.5 percent at C$55.58, and Toronto-Dominion Bank, which climbed 2.9 percent to C$64.80. Teck Resources was up 4.8 percent at C$33.38.
As well, Kerkovius said rosy earnings results from U.S. technology bellwether Cisco, released on Wednesday, helped to boost sentiment.
The S&P/TSX composite index ended up 109.50 points, or 0.99 percent, at 11,180.70, with all of its 10 main groups higher.
"There's a lot of green on the screen," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. "We're slightly upward bias-based because the U.S. is up so much. Left to its own measures I think Toronto would be sort of flattish."
Threatening to tug the index lower through the day were insurers Sun Life Financial Inc, down 6.5 percent at C$28.16, and Manulife Financial Corp, which retreated 3.55 percent to C$19.86. Both reported surprise losses on Thursday. Continued...