February 1, 2011 / 10:32 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX surges on commodities, U.S. data

 * TSX rises 160.63 points, or 1.19 pct, to 13,712.62
 * Manufacturing data spurs recovery hopes  (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng and Pav Jordan
 TORONTO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed sharply higher on Tuesday, driven by strong commodity prices and positive economic data out of the United States, which reinforced growth expectations in Canada.
  Figures showing the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in January and that prices paid jumped more than expected helped drive investor optimism and the Toronto rally was correspondingly broad-based with gold miners, financials, and technology and healthcare stocks all rising.
  “Over the last few days we’ve seen good news on the Canadian economy, with November GDP growth coming in a bit stronger than expected,” said Kate Warne, a Canada market strategist at Edward Jones. “(The U.S. data) is a reinforcement that the news we’ve seen in Canada is likely to continue.”
  The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 160.63 points, or 1.19 percent, at 13,712.62. The index’s 10 main sectors all rose, led by a 2.28 percent climb in the mining-heavy materials group.
 Shares of fertilizer giant Potash Corp POT.TO, the subject of a failed takeover attempt last year, closed up 2.14 percent, and base metals and coal miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO rose 2.92 percent.
 Commodity prices were largely stronger on Tuesday as copper hit a record high and gold began the new month firmer after a heavy January loss.
 Shares of First Quantum (FM.TO), a mid-size copper producer, surged 5.52 percent.
  “I think commodities are driving the market in part,” Warne said. “But I think the gains are more broadly based, largely due to the goods and manufacturing report from the U.S. and very strong earnings out of the U.S.”
 Canadian financials also turned in a robust performance, led by No. 1 insurer Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) and its close rival Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), which closed up 2.87 percent and 2.28 percent respectively.
 Shares of Canada’s top banks also rose ahead of earnings slated to start coming in later this month, with No. 3 Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) leading the pack with a 1.72 percent rise. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) shares rose 1.53 percent and stock in No. 1 lender Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) closed 1.21 percent higher.
 Decliners on Tuesday were led by oil company Opti Canada Inc OPC.TO, whose shares fell 34.78 percent. Opti, under financial pressure due to lower-than-expected Alberta oil sands output, said on Tuesday it has hired a new financial adviser to assist in a search for strategic options, which include asset sales or finding a buyer for the company.
 Uranium producers were in the spotlight again, adding to recent gains as spot uranium is currently selling for $70 a pound, having risen more than 65 percent since June.
 Cameco Corp (CCO.TO) rose for a third straight session, adding 1.61 percent to C$42.18 amid news that Kazakhstan, where the company has a mine, is eyeing 10 percent growth in uranium production this year.
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)  (Editing by Peter Galloway)                                        

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