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* TSX up 137 points after five-day skid
* Bargain-hunting, U.S. inflation data provide lift
* Investors shrug off weak commodities, consumer data
By Jonathan Spicer
TORONTO, June 13 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index, coming off a five-day losing skid, charged higher on Friday morning as bargain-hunting and cheery U.S. inflation data inspired a broad-based rise in Canadian stocks.
Leading the way were bank, technology, and resource issues, despite weakness in key commodities and despite a survey that showed consumer confidence in the United States — Canada’s biggest trading partner — tumbled to a 28-year low.
“This market is kind of irrational,” said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities, suggesting investors were looking for an excuse to jump back in.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 137.64 points, or 0.9 percent, at 14,740.23. The financial sector jumped 1.1 percent, tech firms added 2.2 percent, while materials producers were up 0.9 percent.
The TSX index is about 415 points off the record intraday high it hit a week ago.
The energy sector sputtered early, but then advanced 0.6 percent even as crude oil and natural gas futures fell.
Research In Motion RIM.TO, the BlackBerry maker, led the charge, up C$3.58 at C$136.32. Fertilizer-producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO climbed C$2.23 to C$230.38, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) advanced 61 Canadian cents to C$49.03.
Masionis said the worries caused by last summer’s credit crunch may have subsided in the TSX financial sector, which took the brunt of the selloff among Canadian stocks.
“When bad news comes out now, these stocks don’t seem to care any more,” he said. “After 10 months, you’re used to getting bad news, and these banks haven’t collapsed yet.”
On the downside, shares of First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) fell 68 Canadian cents to C$73.92 after Scandinavian Minerals shareholders approved a takeover by the Canadian miner. See: [nWEN6247]
U.S. stocks were also higher after data showed U.S. consumer prices rose 0.6 percent last month, only slightly more than forecasts, which eased concerns over inflation. See: [nN12334215]
North American equity markets seemed to brush off a survey that showed U.S. consumer confidence fell more than expected in June. See: [nN13397356] ($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer)