April 24, 2013 / 9:10 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Soaring Barrick helps propel TSX to biggest jump in 8 months

* TSX up 179.49 points, or 1.48 percent, at 12,270.43
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Gold-mining stocks rise about 7 percent
    * Barrick Gold jumps 7.6 percent after results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
jumped more than 1 percent on Wednesday, its sharpest one-day
percentage gain in more than  eight months, as higher commodity
prices fueled a rise in shares of gold and oil and gas
    The surge in gold-mining shares, which have languished this
year, played the biggest role in driving up the market as they
rose about 7 percent as physical buyers scooped up the precious
metal on the back of a recent selloff. 
     The market received further support from Barrick Gold Corp
 after the world's biggest gold miner reported
stronger-than-expected quarterly results and said it was reining
in spending.
    Investors brushed aside data that showed orders for
long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods recorded the biggest drop
in seven months in March as well as a U.S. gauge of planned
business spending that rose only modestly. 
    Wednesday's advance was the fifth straight for the Toronto
index as it recovered from one of its biggest selloffs in
several months and outperformed U.S. stocks.
    "We're putting on a burst of steam," said Fred Ketchen,
director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "Our market has been
lagging behind. Some people are looking at that and saying,
'there's an opportunity here for a revival'." 
    Despite the gains of the past week, the index is still down
1.3 percent since the start of the year. That compares with a
jump of more than 10 percent for the S&P 500.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 179.49 points, or 1.48 percent, at
12,270.43. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were
    The gains helped erase some the index's huge losses of
earlier this month, triggered by a rout in commodity prices,
including the biggest single-day drop in gold prices ever.
    Barrick Gold rose 7.6 percent after it said it was scaling
back capital spending and has made progress in controlling
costs. Its first-quarter profit dropped but was still slightly
ahead of market expectations. 
    "The market is rallying off what appears to be a respectable
quarter," said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management.
"(Barrick is) the most oversold and heavily shorted major gold
company in North America. It probably deserves a bounce today." 
    The stock, which rose to C$19.38, is down 57 percent since
hitting a 52-week high in June 2012.
    Barrick's jump and higher gold prices, up 1.2 percent,
helped the index's materials sector add almost 5 percent.
    Miner Goldcorp Inc rose 6.4 percent to C$30.25.
    Energy shares climbed 2.3 percent as oil prices rose. 
    Shares of Cenovus Energy, Canada's No. 2
independent oil producer, rose 2.1 percent to C$29.36 after it
posted a quarterly operating profit that beat analysts'
    BlackBerry said it plans to fill one of the biggest
gaps in the app line-up on its new BlackBerry 10 devices with a
long-awaited Skype application. The smartphone maker climbed 3.5
percent to C$15.25.
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