August 21, 2009 / 8:45 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher on commodities, upbeat outlook

 * TSX up 130.67 points, or 1.22 percent, at 10,831.18
 * Firm commodity prices lift energy, materials
 * Fed, U.S. existing home data boost sentiment
 * Index down 0.2 percent on the week  (Adds official closing figures, details, quotes)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index shot higher on Friday, led by commodity-related issues, after upbeat U.S. home sales data and comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sparked optimism about an economic recovery.
 Better than expected July sales of previously owned U.S. homes signaled the housing market may be pulling out of its three-year slump.[ID:nN21378170]
 A further lift came after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the global economy appears to be on the mend, though he cautioned the recovery would likely be sluggish. [ID:nN21401432]
 The buoyant mood and expectations of rising demand helped to light a fire under commodity prices, with oil settling at a 10-month high of $73.89 a barrel. In turn that helped to boost the TSX’s energy and materials sectors, up 1.8 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.
 “Economic data has been a big trigger,” said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics. “The market also liked what Fed Chairman Bernanke had to say about the near-term growth outlook.”
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 130.67 points, or 1.22 percent, at 10,831.18, with all 10 of its main groups higher. The index sagged 0.2 percent for the week.
 Although Toronto rose in tandem with U.S. and overseas markets, analysts noted the summer doldrums have created lighter volumes that can result in exaggerated moves.
 Key advancers in the oil patch included Suncor Energy (SU.TO), up 3.1 percent at C$35.53, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), up 1.9 percent at C$65.00.
 Miners were strong performers as well, with Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) up 1.6 percent at C$37.60, Goldcorp (G.TO) rising 1.2 percent to C$38.84, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO up 1.7 percent at C$28.88.
 ($1=$1.08 Canadian)  (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)                                      

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