November 29, 2011 / 9:53 PM / in 6 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX extends rally on oil and gas gains

   * TSX up 92.29 pts, or 0.8 pct, at 11,732.5
 * First two consecutive up days since Nov. 7-8
 * Resources, financials lead the gains
 * U.S. consumer confidence data lifts mood
 (Adds details, analyst's comments)
 By Jon Cook
 TORONTO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks closed higher
on Tuesday - the first time in three weeks they have risen two
days in a row - as heavyweight oil and gas producers rose in
tandem with energy prices, which were boosted by encouraging
U.S. economic data.
 As on Monday, oil and gas issues were the index's biggest
movers, rising nearly 2 percent as U.S. crude prices edged
toward $100 a barrel. [O/R] Energy stocks are up more than 4
percent this week following last week's tumult.
 "We've had a pretty strong rally over the last couple
months (with oil prices) going from $75 to $100, and we're
holding fairly well," said Levente Mady, market strategist at
Union Securities.
 "We had the sharp bounce on Monday and it's nice to see
that we're getting some follow-through here today," he said.
 Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO led the sector's gains
for the second straight session, rising 3.3 percent to C$36.35
as North American spot natural gas prices climbed as futures
gained strength on cooler U.S. weather forecasts.
 Oil's rise was supported by a surprisingly strong
Conference Board index of U.S. consumer confidence, which
jumped to 56.0 in November from an upwardly revised 40.9 the
month before. [ID:nN1E7AR196]
 "It's been a very very big jump and the market wasn't
expecting it," said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended up 92.29 points, or 0.8 percent, at 11,732.5.
It was the first time the TSX rose for two straight days since
Nov. 7-8.
 A more solid tone to a sale of Italian debt helped markets
open higher, but the near 8 percent yield on Italy's three-year
bonds tempered optimism over the country's ability to finance
its debt. [ID:nL5E7MT29A]
 Investors were hopeful a meeting of European finance
ministers on Tuesday would include some tangible steps to
address the region's spiraling debt problems, which have begun
to spread to the euro zone's top economies. [ID:nL5E7MS4MQ]
 "I think one of the concrete elements that will probably
happen over the next few days is that finally the check will be
sent to Greece so that they will get the 8 billion euros
they've been waiting for," said Carlos Leitao, chief economist
at Laurentian Bank Securities.
 The index's financial sector, which has little direct
exposure to European debt assets, was one of its strongest
performers, climbing nearly 1 percent.
 Heading into earnings reports week for Canada's big banks,
it was a good portent, and they all moved higher.
 Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO led the way, gaining 1.4
percent to C$44.95. Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO was up 1.2
percent at C$69.70, and Bank of Montreal BMO.TO climbed 1.3
percent to C$57.49.
 Heavily weighted materials issues rose 0.6 percent, lifted
by gold prices [GOL/] that steadied above $1,700 an ounce.
 Among the sector's leaders were Goldcorp G.TO, up 1
percent at C$51.24, and Barrick Gold ABX.TO, up 0.6 percent
at C$51.47.
 In individual company news, Research In Motion RIM.TO
jumped more than 5 percent to C$17.95 after it said it will
introduce a software tool giving corporate customers the option
of linking employees' personal iPhones and Android smartphones
to RIM's BlackBerry network without compromising security.
 ($1=$1.03 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)

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