TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index climbed on Monday as data from the United States and China suggested growth in the world’s two biggest economies was starting to gather steam.
The Toronto market advanced for a second straight session, with bank and gold-mining shares driving the gains.
Data showed China’s exports topped forecasts in November and that annual consumer inflation in the month slowed unexpectedly.
That data followed Friday’s release of the U.S. government’s monthly labor market report, which showed that U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in November and the jobless rate reached a five-year low.
While such upbeat news has often drawn negative responses from the market due to fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve might begin to scale back its stimulus program, investors have welcomed the latest wave of data.
“Net-net the data is positive,” said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director, institutional equity research, at CIBC World Markets.
“The cyclical areas of the market should do better than the non-cyclicals,” he added. He said he was bullish on the industrial, financial and technology sectors.
Mokhtari expects commodity prices and shares to start to show signs of strength in 2014, when he sees better prospects for the TSX. The benchmark Canadian index has underperformed its U.S. peers this year.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 32.06 points, or 0.24 percent, at 13,312.78 on Monday.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, climbed 0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the country’s biggest lender, jumped 1 percent to C$69.75 and had the biggest positive influence on the index. Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO gained 0.9 percent to C$96.33.
Gold miners rose more than 2 percent, supported by gains in the price of bullion. Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO added 3.9 percent to C$17.01, and Yamana Gold Inc YRI.TO advanced 3 percent to C$9.34.
In corporate news, Goldcorp Inc G.TO said a group challenging its use of lands around its Peñasquito mine in Mexico is threatening to sue the company in Canada. The stock slipped 0.2 percent to C$22.40.
Editing by Peter Galloway and Leslie Adler