TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index hit a more than nine-month high on Monday as commodity price gains helped boost the index’s heavyweight energy sector and base metal miners, although gold miners pulled back after last week’s rally.
Oil prices rose for a third straight day, hovering around $50 a barrel and helping the index’s energy group climb 1.8 percent.
Miners, hit hard last year by worries about demand that weighed on prices, were also among the biggest gainers.
“If you would have started this year off by buying yesterday’s losers, the dogs of the TSX, the ones that got slammed and beaten up, you would have done OK,” said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
Diversified miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd FM.TO surged 10 percent to C$10.06 after last week completing the sale of a nickel, copper and platinum mine in Finland and refinancing a credit facility.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 49.38 points, or 0.35 percent, at 14,276.16.
That was its highest since Aug. 14, with the steady gains this year helped by oil’s recovery from prices in the mid-$20s a barrel.
“The next leg up, if we’re going to get one, is if we’re out of the woods in terms of an industrial recession in the United States,” said Schwartz.
Prices for metals including zinc and copper also rose on Monday, while gold was marginally higher after sharp gains late last week.
The index’s materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, rose 0.75 percent.
Six of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Diane Craft
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