March 11, 2008 / 9:42 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks soar on central bank infusion

(Adds details, comments)

By Natalie Armstrong

TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index jumped almost 340 points on Tuesday following co-ordinated moves by global central banks to pump liquidity into international credit markets.

Toronto’s benchmark regained all of Monday’s losses and a bit more, after the Bank of Canada joined other central banks in boosting liquidity to ease credit market woes. That included a $200 billion injection by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

“It looks like for once they probably have it right,” Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds told Reuters.

“It was a catalyst... The market can run a little bit here just to correct for the oversold condition in the marketplace, but we still have some problems out there.”

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 339.44 points, or 2.6 percent, at 13,344.53 All of the TSX index’s 10 main groups were higher.

The heavily weighted materials group led the way higher, closing up 4.8 percent amid continued strong commodity prices.

Fertilizer giant Potash Corp POT.TO was the day’s highest net gainer, closing up C$12.37, or 8.7 percent, at C$155.00.

The mining subgroup rose 3.8 percent while golds ended 4 percent higher, even though the price of bullion slid as the U.S. dollar pushed higher after the central banks’ move.

Goldcorp (G.TO) ended up C$2.01, or 4.9 percent, at C$42.81 while base metals major Teck Cominco Ltd. TEKb.TO rose C$2.30, or 5.7 percent, to C$42.41.

The energy sector closed up 2.2 percent as oil surged to touch a record near $110 a barrel ahead of the liquidity injection. Shares of Petrobank Energy and Resources PRYb.TO soared by C$4.32, or 8.8 percent, to close at C$53.44.

Financial issues, which have been on a roller-coaster ride in recent weeks because of the credit crunch, climbed 2.3 percent. All of the major banks closing higher except Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) which slid 19 Canadian cents, or 0.5 percent, to end at C$41.91. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) gained C$2.09, or 3.5 percent, to close at C$62.22.

“This is the first real move (by the Fed) that really does affect the subprime and bond markets, so this is huge,” said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities.

“This is the first sign that the Federal Reserve is doing something to help this situation, where the biggest banks in the States are in trouble.”

Toronto small technology sector gained 2.5 percent, lifted up by Research In Motion RIM.TO, which ended C$6.65 higher, or 7.1 percent, at C$99.95.

Market volume was 400.7 million shares worth C$8.3 billion. Advancers outpaced decliners 996 to 611. The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 22.64 points higher, or 3 percent, at 786.12.

“These are very thin markets because we’re on spring break right now and a lot of investors are away with their kids,” Michael said.

On Wall Street, the liquidity injection by the Fed helped stocks surge more than 3 percent, with financial shares leading the way.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 416.66 points, or 3.6 percent, to close at 12,156.81, its best one-day performance since March 2003. The Nasdaq composite index .IXIC ended up 86.42 points, or 4 percent, at 2,255.76.

$1=$0.99 Canadian Editing by Rob Wilson

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