TSX rebounds 20 percent from January trough, makes new five-month high

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose to a fresh five-month high on Tuesday, as energy and materials stocks gained on higher commodity prices, while financial sector stocks also advanced.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as weakness in financial and energy shares offset gains in the materials sector. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The index has rallied 20 percent since hitting a near 3-1/2-year low in January, a threshold considered by some as indicative of a bull market. However, its September 2014 peak at 15,685.13 remains well out of view.

Less bad than feared corporate earnings has helped drive positive sentiment, according to Manash Goswami, a portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management Inc.

As investors see the market move higher, many are “forced to participate,” he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 147.46 points, or 1.07 percent, at 13,867.28. It touched its highest since Oct. 28 at 13,871.84.

Six of the index’s 10 main groups ended higher.

Silver Wheaton jumped 8 percent to C$23.41 as silver prices surged to a 10-month high, while the broader materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 3.8 percent. Gold, copper and other metals also pushed higher.

Barrick Gold Corp added 2.2 percent to C$20.70 and Goldcorp Inc rose 2.1 percent to C$22.00.

Adding to the positive sentiment, Barclays raised its target prices for a range of Canadian materials stocks.

First Quantum Minerals advanced 15.7 percent to C$8.83 and Teck Resources Ltd gained 8.5 percent to C$13.34.

The energy sector gained 3.3 percent as oil rose after a strike by oil workers in Kuwait nearly halved crude production from the OPEC member.

It included a 2.5 percent rise in the shares of Suncor Energy Inc to C$37.14.

The country’s heavyweight banks also ranked among the index’s most influential gainers, with Royal Bank of Canada adding 0.7 percent to C$78.34 and Toronto-Dominion Bank advancing 1.1 percent to C$55.91.

Rogers Communications Inc fell 1.9 percent to C$49.27 after reporting a slip in earnings after the bell on Monday as it spent heavily to get smartphones to its wireless customers and could not add enough Internet business to offset television and landline phone shrinkage.

The telecom group lost 0.8 percent.

U.S. crude prices settled at $41.08 a barrel, up 3.27 percent.

Gold futures rose 1.5 percent to $1,251.7 an ounce and copper prices advanced 2.3 percent to $4,936 a tonne.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish