TSX gains as commodities rally; RIM dives

Thu Apr 1, 2010 4:55pm EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX shot higher on Thursday as upbeat economic data prompted fresh fund flows into commodities at the start of the quarter, but a steep slide by Research In Motion tempered the gains.

The TSX's energy group rose more than 3 percent as oil hit an 18-month high. Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's biggest oil company, jumped 3.9 percent to C$34.32, while Canadian Natural Resources surged more than 4 percent to C$78.23.

Commodity prices got a boost as factories in the United States, Europe and Asia cranked up production last month, suggesting recovery from a deep recession was taking root in economies around the globe.

"The single biggest driver today is definitely coming from the economic data," said Youssef Zohny , associate portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management in Vancouver.

"We are seeing inventory rebuilding and that bodes well for material and energy companies," Zohny said.

On the downside, investors pummeled shares of RIM, which sank 8.2 percent to C$69.05, after its results came in below expectations. That magnified worries about rivals stealing market share from the BlackBerry smartphone.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 113.33 points, or 0.94 percent, higher at 12,151.06. The index rose 1.6 percent on the week.

The materials sector gained 1.7 percent as copper reached a 20-month high and gold prices firmed.   Continued...

<p>A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto in this November 9, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>