TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose to its highest in eight weeks on Thursday as rising commodity prices boosted the shares of gold miners and energy producers.
A stronger U.S. dollar helped support bullion, which also benefited from investors looking to take advantage of a recent decline.
The market largely shrugged off concerns about the global economy, which resurfaced as data showed a slowdown in growth in China’s factory sector and sluggish private sector growth in Europe.
The energy sector, which has taken a beating recently over concerns about increasing supply and sluggish demand, rebounded strongly as oil prices rose in anticipation of a positive outcome from an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting next week.
“What they’d like to do is to send a signal that there is a greater level of cohesion amongst their membership, and that should go some way in improving the pricing dynamic,” said Les Stelmach, senior vice president and portfolio manager at Franklin Bissett Investment Management.
“I don’t think we’re going to get a real snapback in crude oil prices next week just because of the results of some meeting. It does take time before supply and demand imbalances are ironed out.
“I’m not willing to step out and say that we’ve hit bottom because nobody knows until after the fact. But it should be a more constructive environment going forward,” he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 95.03 points, or 0.63 percent, at 15,075.18. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
The shares of energy producers advanced 2.8 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gained 3.7 percent to C$42.15, and Suncor Energy Inc added 2.5 percent to C$39.69.
The gold-mining sector jumped 2.8 percent. Barrick Gold Corp advanced 3.1 percent to C$14.53, and Goldcorp Inc was up 2.7 percent, at C$23.34.
Nevsun Resources Ltd shares shot up more than 11 percent to C$4.72 after a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources said mining fund QKR Corp is close to making a bid for the company. Nevsun said it is not aware of any bid.
With additional reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by W Simon, Nick Zieminski and Andre Grenon