TSX ends higher on commodity rebound

Fri Jan 8, 2010 5:32pm EST
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX closed higher on Friday as investors looked past disappointing employment reports and focused instead on rebounding resource prices.

Gold was higher as the U.S. dollar tumbled, while oil rose as concerns about gasoline supplies following a Canadian refinery outage outweighed bearish data showing an unexpected rise in U.S. job losses in December.

Among major gainers, Teck Resources TCKb.TO rose 2.96 percent to C$41.79, while Talisman Energy TLM.TO rose 2.44 percent to C$20.58. The overall heavyweight leader was Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO: Quote), often seen as a barometer of economic recovery, up 2.9 percent at C$58.53.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 66.32 points, or 0.56 percent, at 11,953.83, after moving into negative territory several times.

Seven of the index's 10 main groups advanced. The index finished the first week of 2010 1.7 percent higher.

The index seesawed early in the session as investors digested unexpectedly weak Canadian and U.S. employment numbers. Canada lost 2,600 jobs in December, while the United States lost 85,000. Unemployment rates remained steady in each country.

But the market turned around as some investors decided there was enough evidence that a broad trend toward recovery was intact, and as oil rose slightly.

"Investors have come back in. We've seen commodities have recovered a fair amount, which in turn has driven the market up a bit," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.   Continued...

<p>People attend a market open ceremony for the Toronto Stock Exchange at the TSX Broadcast Centre in Toronto in this June 20, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>