TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index climbed to a more than one-week high on Thursday as Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO shares jumped 17 percent on growing hopes for its new BlackBerry devices and as earnings expectations lifted financial stocks.
The market was also supported by data that showed China’s manufacturing sector was picking up steam, a sign of increased demand for Canadian resources. <MKTS/GLOB>
Research In Motion was up 17.3 percent at C$12.00 after National Bank Financial raised its price target on the stock to $15, citing “positive sentiment building in the industry” ahead of the launch of the company’s BlackBerry 10 devices.
The stock played the second-biggest role of any single company in leading the market higher. It was the stock’s biggest one-day gain since April 2009.
“The dominant news today is the performance of RIM,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. “The company has had nothing but bad news over the past year, and the stock has been oversold.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended higher for a fifth straight session. It closed up 53.04 points, or 0.44 percent, at 12,153.10. Earlier in the session, it hit 12,171.20, its highest level since November 13. All 10 main sectors were positive.
Volumes were lighter than usual due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, which closed stock markets there. About 124 million shares changed hands on the Toronto Stock Exchange, compared with a daily average of 281.9 million in October.
The financial sector also edged up for a fifth day, rising 0.3 percent ahead of the quarterly reporting season for Canadian banks, which starts next week.
Expectations for solid results and possible dividend increases at some of the banks have been fueling the sector, said Allan Small, senior investment advisor at DundeeWealth Inc.
“(Canadian banks) are still relatively cheap when you look at where they are trading on a multiple basis. There is definitely some value there,” he said.
Small said that the market’s recent rise has also improved prospects for insurance companies, which have large portfolios of equities.
Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF.TO) rose 0.7 percent to C$27.10, and Great-West Life GWO.TO gained 0.7 percent to C$23.49.
The index’s materials sector, which includes mining stocks, rose 0.2 percent, extending gains made in the previous session on higher prices for gold and other commodities. <GOL/>
Miner Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) was up 0.4 percent at C$34.75. Fertilizer producer Potash Corp (POT.TO) gained 1.1 percent to C$38.67, diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO jumped 2.6 percent to C$32.59, and Silver Wheaton Corp SLW.TO was up 0.7 percent at C$36.55.
In China, data showed expansion in the manufacturing sector accelerated in November for the first time in 13 months, a sign that the pace of economic growth has revived after seven consecutive quarters of slowdown.
Industrials advanced 0.8 percent, with Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) rising 1.6 percent, to C$87.12.
With additional reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Peter Galloway