TSX ends higher on earnings, Europe hopes

Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:06pm EDT
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks staged a late rally to close higher on Wednesday, shrugging off early losses, helped by encouraging third-quarter earnings and news from Europe about plans to tackle the region's debt crisis.

Markets responded positively to a report the euro zone will dip deeply into a $440 billion euro bailout fund, the details of which won't be revealed until November, according to a draft statement obtained by Reuters.

Still, analysts said the uncertainly about the outcome of the European summit was a weight on the market.

"On the one side you have the European headwinds that are negative and making the market very jittery," said Luciano Orengo, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. "On the other side you've been having third-quarter earnings that are coming in better than expected."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 76.31 points, or 0.63 percent, to 12,186.06. That corrected a brief negative spell earlier in the day when the index weakened to 12,052.53.

Canadian National Railway Co among the most influential gainers, rising 1.9 percent to C$76.56, after reporting a 19 percent jump in quarterly profit late on Tuesday.

Energy and materials stocks, including miners, played the biggest role in leading the market higher.

Base-metal miners climbed more than 4 percent as copper prices rallied. Teck Resources climbed 4.2 percent to C$37.33, while First Quantum Minerals gained 8 percent to C$18.60.   Continued...

<p>A Bay Street sign is seen in the heart of the financial district in Toronto, August 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>