TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index jumped on Friday, with investors shrugging off heavy losses from earlier in the week as worries over the Greek debt crisis abated and once-slumping Chinese equities gained strongly for a second straight session.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 132.58 points, or 0.93 percent, at 14,411.07. It fell 1.8 percent over the course of a volatile week.
“Heading into the week people were talking about ‘Grexit’, and in the last 24 to 48 hours, it feels like a breakthrough,” said Manash Goswami, a portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management.
“I‘m not sure if it’s a relief rally, if we’re coming off oversold levels, or if it’s just people saying it looks like something is going to get done in Europe.”
Greece’s prime minister appealed to his party’s lawmakers to back a tough reform package after abruptly offering creditors last-minute concessions to try to save the country from financial meltdown.
Meanwhile in China, stocks which had been plunging on panic selling steadied after support measures from Beijing took hold.
“Everything’s settled down at least for one day,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities, pointing to a ‘two steps forward, one step backwards’ trend. “Today, I guess, we’re going two steps forward.”
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO), always influential in index moves, rose 4 percent to C$294.65, to lead gainers, while financial names filled the next three spots of biggest index boosters.
The overall financial group, which has been under pressure recently, climbed 1.3 percent. Health care stocks rose 2.1 percent and technology names added 1.6 percent.
Energy and materials stocks weighed as investors continued to steer clear of resource companies pummeled by a precipitous drop and unsure outlook for crude oil and other commodity prices.
The 10 biggest drags on the TSX were all either energy or mining names, with Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) topping the list. Its shares fell 4.3 percent to C$23.94.
“Commodities are still hurting the Canadian market,” Kinsey said.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by 157 to 87, for a 1.80-to-1 ratio on the upside. One company posted a new 52-week high, while 15 hit new lows.
Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway and James Dalgleish