January 9, 2008 / 2:12 PM / 11 years ago

Toronto stocks helped by golds in volatile day

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index ended higher on Wednesday after a choppy session as bargain-hunting and gains in resource issues helped offset uneasiness over the prospect of a U.S. recession.

The index fell more than 100 points earlier in the day, but reversed direction in a late-afternoon bounce to close higher for the first time in three days.

Shares of gold producers helped pull the index up, as the price of bullion hit another record high before finishing lower on profit-taking and weaker oil prices.

The gold-mining subsector added 1.6 percent, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up C$1.19, or 2.4 percent, at C$50.65, and Centerra Gold (CG.TO) rose 40 Canadian cents, or 3 percent, to C$13.70.

The broader materials sector, home to resource shares, rose 0.6 percent.

“I think this year is going to be one of those years of just volatility,” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc in Vancouver.

“I think we have to get used to it, probably more often than not, with some huge numbers going one way or the other.”

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 38.19 points, or 0.28 percent, at 13,579.94 but six of the TSX’s 10 main groups remained in negative territory.

The recently battered financial sector gained 0.7 percent helped by bargain-hunting. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) gained C$2.04, or 3.1 percent, to C$69.00, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) rose C$1.16, or 1.8 percent, to C$66.29.

But persistent worries over the health of the U.S. economy injected a gloomy mood into the market after Goldman Sachs said U.S. real gross domestic product would contract by 1 percent on an annualized basis in the second and third quarters.

“I think, overall, people are worried still about a slowdown of global growth led by the U.S. and that we’re seeing more of those worries today,” said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.

“Basically it’s worries about how bad the slowdown will be and how much it will affect Canada,” Warne added.

The jitters over talk of a U.S. recession hurt the consumer discretionary sector, which fell 1 percent.

The industrials sector sagged 1.2 percent, while Quebecor World IQW.TO tumbled to a record low amid worries about the commercial printer’s ability to stay solvent.

Quebecor World finished down 19 Canadian cents, or 17.3 percent, at 91 Canadian cents.

Elsewhere, Corus Entertainment (CJRb.TO) fell C$1.30, or 2.9 percent, to C$44.00 after its first-quarter earnings missed expectations.

Market volume was 414 million shares worth C$8 billion. Decliners outpaced advancers 1,030 to 583. The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed up 4.97 points, or 0.63 percent, at 798.22.

In New York, stocks also went on a roller-coaster ride before finishing higher on gains in defensive and technology shares. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ended up 146.24 points, or 1.16 percent, at 12,735.31, and the Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC rose 34.04 points, or 1.39 percent, to 2,474.55.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

Editing by Peter Galloway

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