TSX ends higher on stronger resource prices
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index advanced on Monday as energy and materials producers rose on the back of stronger commodity prices.
Raw materials prices got support from hopes for strong Chinese demand, and that also lifted global equities. Oil rallied above $78 a barrel, snapping a five-day losing streak.
Among the Toronto index's top gainers were Suncor Energy, up 0.79 percent at C$37, while fertilizer producer Potash Corp gained 1.1 percent to C$119.30.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 65.17 points, or 0.56 percent, at 11,750.54. Volume was a fraction of its normal levels, with U.S. markets closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
"With light volume and not a whole lot of conviction, there is no one shooting the lights out," said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Wealth Management.
Financial shares were also on the rise, after coming under pressure for the first two weeks of the year. Toronto-Dominion Bank led all heavyweight advancers, climbing 1.2 percent to C$64.10, while Manulife Financial was up 1.1 percent at C$20.54.
Six of the index's 10 main groups were higher, with the three biggest sectors -- materials, financials and energy -- each up more than 0.6 percent.
The index's direction this week will likely come from more company earnings announcements from the United States. But investors will also comb through the Bank of Canada's interest rate announcement on Tuesday and Monetary Policy Report on Thursday for hints on when bank intends to raise rates for the first time since the recession hit. Continued...