* TSX up 89.92 points, or 0.75 percent, at 12,003.78
* Index closes at highest level since May 14
* Eight of index’s 10 main sectors higher (Updates to close, adds quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index notched its highest close in more than 15 weeks on Wednesday as U.S. and overseas economic data stoked optimism about global recovery.
Toronto took its cue from world stock markets, which rallied on stronger economic numbers from China and Australia and on a closely watched report that showed the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded more quickly than expected in August. [ID:nN01115648]
In China, the manufacturing sector rebounded in August after slowing for several months, while Australia’s economy grew at the fastest pace in three years last quarter.
Those rosy readings sent oil prices sharply higher, while copper hit multi-month highs, pushing up the TSX index’s resource-linked sectors. [O/R] [MET/L]
Suncor Energy SU.TO rallied 4.7 percent to C$33.73, while First Quantum Minerals FM.TO shot up 5.7 percent to C$64.96. Teck Resources TCKb.TO jumped 5.5 percent to C$37.64.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up 89.92 points, or 0.75 percent, at 12,003.78, with eight of its 10 main sectors higher. It was the index’s sixth day in positive territory and its highest close since May 14.
Despite the rally, the “overwhelming majority” of data points to a sluggish economic landscape, particularly when it comes to the labor market, said Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities in Vancouver.
Another report on Wednesday, for example, showed the U.S. private sector unexpectedly cut 10,000 jobs in August, compared with a gain of 37,000 in July.
“Some of the data overnight was good. The ISM (manufacturing) number was good, but I don’t believe this rally and I think the overwhelming majority of the data continues to be soft and points to weakness on the economic front. I don’t know if this is sustainable,” Mady said.
$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway