November 5, 2009 / 9:40 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Positive U.S. data helps drive TSX higher

 * TSX finishes up 109.50 points at 11,180.70
 * U.S. economic data helps index higher
 * Sun Life, Manulife fall after earnings reports  (Updates to close, adds quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Nov 5 (Reuters) -  Toronto’s main stock index finished higher on Thursday as U.S. business productivity and weekly jobs data helped to lift investor confidence in the economic recovery.
 The figures showed third-quarter business productivity grew at the fastest pace in six years and that new claims for jobless aid fell to a 10-month low last week, indicating the decline in the labor market may be hitting bottom. [ID:nN05106320]
 “The U.S. productivity numbers basically shot the lights out. It was a really good print,” said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd., in Calgary.
 Among the top Toronto gainers were Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), up 2.5 percent at C$55.58, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), which climbed 2.9 percent to C$64.80. Teck Resources TCKb.TO was up 4.8 percent at C$33.38.
 As well, Kerkovius said a rosy earnings results from technology bellwether Cisco (CSCO.O), released on Wednesday, helped to boost sentiment. [ID:nN04515993]
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 109.50 points, or 0.99 percent, at 11,180.70, with all of its 10 main groups higher.
 On the downside were insurers Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF.TO), down 6.5 percent at C$28.16, and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO), which retreated 3.55 percent to C$19.86. Both reported surprise losses on Thursday. [ID:nN05115880]
 Strength in energy and materials sectors, up 0.96 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively, also helped lift the broader market. EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) rose 1.8 percent and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO climbed 1.6 percent.
 ($1=$1.07 Canadian)  (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)                                      

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