* TSX rises 74.54 points, or 0.54 pct to 13,972.02
* Six of 10 sectors up, led by materials on gold record (Adds details and comments)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, April 21 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index jumped to its highest level in more than a week on Thursday, buoyed by strong North American corporate results and commodity prices that rose as the U.S. dollar fell.
Boosted by higher metals prices, including record-high gold and soaring silver, the index’s materials sector climbed 1 percent, leading the market’s advance. [GOL/] [MET/L]
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up 1.5 percent at C$53.07, while Silver Wheaton SLW.TO rallied 1.7 percent to C$40.45 after an analyst upgrade. [ID:nWNBB7941]
“It’s all a product of people losing faith in the U.S. currency and they want some safety, something secure and they’re picking up the metals,” said John Kurgan, senior market strategist at commodity futures brokerage Lind-Waldock Canada.
The greenback tumbled for a third straight day to near a record low against a broad basket of currencies, making commodities priced in U.S. dollars cheaper for foreign investors. [FRX/]
“Silver to me is getting kind of bubbly here,” Kurgan said, noting prices have risen 70 percent in the last three months.
“I’m getting calls from people I haven’t talked to in a year or two and the reason they’re calling is because they want to buy silver.”
Also in the materials group, diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO rose 2.2 percent to C$53.83, while fertilizer producer Potash Corp POT.TO added 1.2 percent to C$55.35.
U.S. crude prices were also stronger, rising above $112 a barrel and lifting the index’s energy group 0.8 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up 1.6 percent at C$43.18 and was the index’s heavyweight gainer.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 74.54 points, or 0.54 percent, at 13,972.02. Six of the index’s 10 sectors rose, including financials, up 0.6 percent.
The index was at its highest level since April 12 and rose 1.3 percent on the week.
Investors cheered stellar earnings and outlooks from U.S. companies such as General Electric Co, Morgan Stanley, and Apple Inc — which blew past Wall Street expectations. [.N]
Apple’s Canadian rival, Research In Motion RIM.TO, led decliners on the TSX, down 1.3 percent at C$51.29, after the launch of RIM’s PlayBook tablet computer earlier this week failed to garner much enthusiasm. [ID:nN19146402]
The index’s gains were also tempered by underwhelming U.S. jobless numbers and caution ahead of the long weekend. North American markets will be shut on Friday for the Easter holiday.
On the Canadian earnings front, Celestica shares (CLS.TO) jumped almost 5 percent to C$10.54 after the contract electronics maker’s quarterly results topped estimates. [ID:nN21245972]
Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) fell 0.9 percent to C$59.75 after it reported a 67 percent drop in quarterly profit as harsh winter weather hampered train operations. [ID:nL3E7FL2GQ]
“We’re still waiting to hear the bulk of what’s going to happen with the Canadian earnings, but it seems we’re going to be set up for very, very nice earnings season,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
“Commodity prices remain strong, oil prices are high and the Canadian economy seems to be on a roll.”
The focus next week will be on U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who will hold a press conference following the Fed’s rate-setting meeting. [ID:nLDE73K0B2]
Markets will be looking for clues on when the Fed is going to pull the plug on the extraordinarily loose monetary policy that has weighed on the U.S. dollar.
($1=$0.95 Canadian) (Additional reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)