*TSX closes up 31.07 points at 11,666.92
*Materials, energy lead index higher
*Oil falls, copper and gold prices firm
*U.S. retail sales fall unexpectedly in May
*U.S. consumer confidence rises in June (Updates to close)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, June 11 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed higher for a second straight session on Friday as resource issues gained ground in another roller-coaster day of trading, this time spurred by mixed U.S. economic data.
Sales at U.S. retailers fell unexpectedly in May for the first time in eight months, but a jump in U.S. consumer sentiment to a near 2-1/2 year high in early June tempered fears of a slowing economic recovery. [ID:nN11114277]
Copper retreated from one-week highs after the data but was still up on the day as investors watched China for clues to future demand. [MET/L]
The base-metal mining subsector was up 1.4 percent as Teck Resources TCKb.TO surged 2.2 percent to C$34.93, and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) gained 0.6 percent to C$55.79.
Crude oil futures fell under $74 a barrel, snapping a three-day winning streak, but the energy sector still managed to rise 0.7 percent. [O/R]
“China continues to be a big user of copper and oil, so as the market develops the longer-term trend is intact,” said Norman MacDonald, a fund manager at Invesco Trimark.
“Will we see some slowing and some hiccups along the way? Oh yeah, it’s not going to be a continuous uptrend on consumption.”
Data on Thursday showed Chinese exports surged 48.5 percent in May from a year earlier, well above forecasts for a 32 percent gain, but imports of commodities slowed in the same month. [ID:nTOE65901X]
Many commodities traders are nervous of demand falling off because of a slowing property market and cooling growth in car sales, as well as an oversupply of materials imported in vast quantities by China when prices fell after the financial crisis. [ID:nTOE65906T]
“A lot of the commodities and commodity stocks got a bit oversold with some economic concerns out of Europe, but it seems like Asia is helping support the commodity space at the moment,” said Youssef Zohny, associate portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management in Vancouver.
Gold-mining stocks also rallied 0.7 percent as the precious metal extended price gains after the weak U.S. retail sales data brought risk aversion back to the market. [GOL/]
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 31.07 points, or 0.27 percent, higher at 11,666.92, after opening in the red. Four of its main groups were higher, with financials flat.
The index finished the week 0.8 percent higher.
“It was a very emotional week,” MacDonald said, referring to extreme market fluctuations that saw a trend of equities selling off hard in late trading.
“There’s so much uncertainty that it seemed a lot of people were just moving their cash in a very quick manner.”
In individual company news, Research In Motion RIM.TO rose 0.6 percent to C$61.39 after the BlackBerry maker and Motorola Inc MOT.N reached a technology licensing agreement, ending more than two years of litigation. [ID:nN11125904]
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Peter Galloway