TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index climbed to a record closing high on Wednesday with bullish economic data from China helping to drive up commodity prices and natural resource shares.
Providing further support, figures from the U.S. Labor Department showed producer prices rose more than expected in June with gains across most categories.
China’s economic growth picked up slightly in the second quarter, topping market expectations, as the economy benefited from the government’s stimulus measures.
The Canadian benchmark index has risen nearly 12 percent this year, more than most of its global peers. Some investors have worried that the gains might be setting the market up for a correction.
“Stocks are reasonably valued, but they’re certainly not a screaming bargain,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Wealth, who does not expect the recent rally in energy and gold-mining shares to continue in the second half of 2014.
By the end of the year, there will be a convergence of U.S. and Canadian stock market performances, he said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 145.02 points, or 0.96 percent, at 15,226.34. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, added 0.7 percent. In the group, Bank of Nova Scotia gained 0.6 percent to C$73.22.
Shares of energy producers reflected a rise in the price of U.S. crude oil. Suncor Energy Inc climbed 1.2 percent to C$44.72, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 1.5 percent to C$48.14.
The gold-mining sector rebounded with the bullion price after sharp declines in the previous two sessions. Goldcorp Inc advanced 1.4 percent to C$29.43, and Barrick Gold Corp jumped 2.9 percent to C$20.28.
Barrick was also in the news for announcing that Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky will step down on Sept. 15.
BlackBerry shares tumbled 11.7 percent to C$10.72, a day after International Business Machines Corp said it planned to partner with Apple Inc to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with applications geared to business users.
Editing by Tom Brown; Editing by Peter Galloway