May 6, 2009 / 3:05 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises to highest mark in six months

* Index pushes past 10,000 mark, best since Nov 5

* Commodity issues underscored by stronger resource prices

* Biovail falls 15 pct after results

* Better than expected economic data boosts sentiment (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, May 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index jumped more than 1 percent, vaulting over the 10,000 mark for the first time since November in a broad rally led by resources and financials.

Stronger-than-expected economic data from Canada and the United States set the tone and offset the influence of a raft of weak corporate results in healthcare, auto parts and the once-high-flying fertilizer sector.

In addition, rising gold and oil prices lent support to the materials and energy groups, each rising more than 2 percent. The financials group gained 1.4 percent. Those three sectors make up nearly three-quarters of the index’s weighting.

Top gainers moving the overall index were Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), up 2.9 percent at C$22.19, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO), up 4.6 percent at C$34.34. Goldcorp (G.TO) gained 2.4 percent to C$34.65.

“Overall it seems we’re climbing that wall of worry because there’s no lack of news out there that could potentially derail pyschology. People seem to be taking it in stride,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

At 10:35 (1434 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE gained 124.30 points, or 1.26 percent, to 10,005.02. Earlier, it had climbed nearly 2 percent to 10,075.29, its highest since Nov. 5.

Five of the index’s 10 main groups were higher. The utilities and consumer discretionary groups joined the big three sectors in the advance.

The healthcare group was the main drag, pulled down by Biovail BVF.TO, which fell almost 15 percent to C$11.41, after the drugmaker reported a lower first-quarter profit and said it plans to cut its quarterly dividend by 76 percent. [ID:nN06260454]

Overall, the healthcare sector was off 3.02 percent.

Agrium AGU.TO dropped 1.4 percent to C$52.94 as the fertilizer producer posted a first-quarter net loss, hurt by falling potash demand and low prices. [ID:nN05507526]

Magna International MGa.TO shares sank 2.2 percent to C$42.17 after the auto parts company reported a quarterly loss and suspended its quarterly dividend. [ID:nN06502855]

Positive economic figures also helped investor sentiment that the global economic picture was improving steadily. Stronger-than-expected private-sector employment data from ADP bolstered U.S. stock indexes, while in Canada, purchasing activity rose and building permits unexpectedly surged. [ID:nnL6988685] [ID:nnTAR001663] [ID:nN06546133]

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