TSX closes at highest level since July 2008
By John McCrank
TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rallied to its highest close since July 2008 on Monday, spurred by better-than-expected economic growth last quarter and a C$4.8 billion ($4.9 billion) takeover bid for Lundin Mining.
Statistics Canada said surging exports helped kick-start the economy in the quarter after a bout of sluggish growth. The data supported market expectations that the Bank of Canada will resume hiking interest rates before mid-year.
"The Canadian GDP numbers for the fourth quarter were a lot stronger than people had anticipated," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds in Toronto. "I think it's quite good for Canada in that unemployment will start firming up meaningfully here."
The index's mining-heavy materials group rose 0.93 percent, with Lundin surging 18.6 percent to C$7.65 after Australia's Equinox Minerals made an offer to buy the base-metals miner. The move could trigger a bidding war with Inmet Mining, which has a merger agreement with Lundin.
Equinox shares ended down 8.61 percent at C$5.73. Inmet Mining was off 0.73 percent at C$66.81.
Also in the materials sector, copper-producer First Quantum Minerals rose 8.68 percent to C$126.50.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 84.37 points, or 0.6 percent, at 14,136.50. Eight of the index's 10 main sectors were in positive territory.
The index weakened late in the session before being buoyed by a spate of last-minute buying. Continued...