TSX posts first rise of 2011 as resources jump

Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:47pm EST
 
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index finished higher for the first time this year on Tuesday, surging more than 1 percent as resource issues rallied along with commodity prices.

Oil and copper prices both rose 2 percent and gold prices firmed, spurring a triple-digit gain for the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index.

After falling for five straight sessions, the index finished up 155.93 points, or 1.18 percent, at 13,401.05. Eight of its 10 main groups rose with the materials and oil and gas sectors leading the way with advances of 1.65 percent and 1.97 percent, respectively.

Utilities were the lone decliner with a 0.15 percent dip. Consumer staples ended unchanged.

Key advancers included Teck Resources, which added 4.3 percent to C$63.11, Imperial Oil, up 3.84 percent at C$40.84, and Royal Bank of Canada, which rose 1.68 percent to C$52.56.

Analysts said the prospect of solid corporate earnings was giving stock-market investors the room to look past euro-zone debt concerns for the time being.

"It's just an overall buoyant environment of news," said Brian Pow, vice president of research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary.

"People are shrugging off what's going on in Europe in terms of what's going on with the debt problems there and (are) just focusing in on corporate earnings and corporate performance," he said.

Pow pointed to a strong kickoff to the U.S. earnings season with Alcoa Inc reporting a forecast-beating quarterly profit, as well as indications that corporations are more confident about the future and are declaring dividends.

(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)

 
<p>People walk by a sign displaying TSX inform REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>