Commodities lead TSX to 17-month high

Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:33pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By John McCrank

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended at its highest point since September 2008 on Tuesday, aided by stronger commodity prices and a renewed pledge by the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep interest rates very low for an extended period.

The index's materials sector led the way, rising 1.5 percent, with First Quantum Minerals up 3.5 percent at C$91.28 after the miner's quarterly results beat analysts' expectations.

Agnico-Eagle rose 2.6 percent to C$60.68, and Barrick Gold was up 1.9 percent at 40.64.

The price of gold was up 2 percent on the day.

"The trend has been sideways on gold for a while, and people are coming around to the opinion that that metal is inevitably poised to move higher in the months ahead, whether it's on currency debasement, or the renewed decline in the U.S. dollar," said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 80.60 points, or 0.67 percent, at 12,089.40. It was the index's highest close since September 26, 2008.

The market had been moderately higher all day, but it extended its gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve again promised to keep rates at near zero for an extended period.

Resource issues rose on the statement, with oil jumping 2.4 percent as the U.S. dollar fell after the Fed decision.   Continued...

<p>People walk by a sign displaying TSX information in Toronto, August 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>