April 8, 2011 / 2:38 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Commodities, jobs data push TSX higher

*TSX up 96.52 points, or 0.68 pct, at 14,204.29

*Seven of 10 sectors advance (Updates with details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose sharply on Friday morning as stronger commodity prices, including a record high for gold, boosted key resource shares and strong jobs data lifted sentiment.

Most index sectors were stronger, with the materials group up 1.3 percent, energy up 1.1 percent, and financials 0.2 percent firmer.

Among top gainers, Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) jumped 1.2 percent to C$52.13, Teck Resources TCKb.TO climbed 1.2 percent to C$55.73, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) advanced 1.7 percent to C$44.03.

U.S. crude prices climbed above $110 a barrel to a high last reached in September 2008, while gold touched $1,468.81 an ounce, and copper rose about 2 percent to its highest level in a month. [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L]

“Oil just keeps on trucking ... and gold has had a nice jump here ... so that would be a new record high if it holds,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.

“Gold stocks for a change have participated in the upward trend of the metal and the oil stocks are doing well as you would expect,” he added, noting that he expects companies in both of those groups to soon report positive earnings.

At 10:07 a.m. (1407 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 96.52 points, or 0.68 percent, at 14,204.29. Seven of its 10 main groups were higher.

Canada jobs data also aided the rise. Although the economy unexpectedly lost jobs in March, there was a surge in full-time employment, reflecting solid growth. [ID:nN08228750]

“The job number was good ... the U.S. economy seems to be gaining some traction as well, and the trend in both countries for the unemployment numbers seems to be in a bit of a downtrend, which again is encouraging,” Kinsey said.

Equinox Minerals EQN.TO gained 0.5 percent to C$7.54 after it said a $6.6 billion takeover bid from China’s Minmetals Resources was too low, leaving the door open to a rival offer as miners vie for access to valuable copper deposits. [ID:nL3E7F801Y]

Loblaw Cos (L.TO) rose 1 percent to C$38.31 after the grocer said on Thursday it plans to buy back up to 5 percent of its shares outstanding through a normal course issuer bid. [ID:nN07292640]

$1=$0.96 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway

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