TSX has biggest jump in more than 2 years

Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:32pm EST
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index jumped more than 4 percent on Wednesday in its biggest single-day gain in more than two years, pushed up by an agreement by global central banks to tackle the euro-zone debt crisis and by a move by China to ease credit.

The move by the TSX index mirrored hefty gains on other global markets as central banks from the world's leading economies, including the Bank of Canada, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, agreed to lower the cost of dollar swap lines by 50 basis points, as well other measures.

"Santa has come early and he happens to look a lot like (Fed Chairman) Ben Bernanke, right down to the beard, and in his bag he has lots and lots of U.S. dollars available to exchange for euros in unlimited amounts," said Gavin Graham, president of Graham Investment Strategy.

Commodity prices, particularly for oil, gold and base metals, rose on renewed investor optimism for the global economy, lifting the TSX's heavily weighted materials sector 6 percent.

The gains came as bullion prices climbed more than 2 percent in response to a falling U.S. dollar as central banks moved to inject more liquidity into the global financial system.

Miner Goldcorp rose 7.2 percent to C$54.95 and Barrick Gold was up 5 percent at C$54.05, to lead gains.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 471.61 points, or 4 percent, at 12,204.11. It was the TSX's biggest single-day gain since March 23, 2009 when the market finished up more than 5 percent.

Copper rose more than 5 percent to a two-week high, helping to lift base metal miners more than 8 percent. First Quantum Minerals led the sector's gains, leaping nearly 11 percent to C$20.60.   Continued...