November 25, 2009 / 4:43 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX pushes higher on golds, financials

* S&P/TSX up 0.9 percent at 11,643.74 points

* Investors weigh mixed bag of U.S. economic data (Adds quotes, details)

By Irene Kuan

TORONTO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was higher on Wednesday morning, as red-hot gold prices boosted shares of resource issues, while financials were helped by mostly healthy U.S. economic data.

Gold prices surged to record highs above $1,180 an ounce, boosted by reports India may be interested in buying more bullion from the International Monetary Fund, and by a weaker U.S. dollar that fell against most major currencies [GOL].

No. 1 producer Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up 1.14 percent at C$46.09, while Goldcorp (G.TO) rose 0.87 percent to C$46.24.

Shares of Canada’s Big Five banks were among the top influential advancers, led by Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), up 1.25 percent at C$67.82.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) rose 1.24 percent to C$49.85, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) rose 1.7 percent to C$69.27. Royal Bank of Canada advanced 0.5 percent to C$57.63.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) gained 1.2 percent to C$53.79, after ending lower on Tuesday, despite a 16 percent gain in quarterly profit. Bank stocks ended mixed on Tuesday after an early rise, but garnered second thoughts on Wednesday. Other banks are due to report in the next two weeks.

“Maybe people are taking a look back,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

“Year-end is only five weeks away, so there’s a lot of cash on the sidelines. Investors sitting on a lot of cash may want to get some of that money working.” he said.

At 11:20 a.m. (1620 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 104.11 points, or 0.9 percent, at 11,643.74.

Investors were also weighing a mixed bag of U.S. economic data to gauge the strength of an economic recovery. According to U.S. government reports, jobless claims tumbled to their lowest level in more than a year and consumer spending was up, but durable good orders fell unexpectedly. [nN25548443]

“The market is thin right now. Everyone is trying to digest these five economic statistics,” said Michael.

He said market volume was expected to wind down as traders prepare for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday when U.S. markets will be closed.

$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Irene Kuan and Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson irene.kuan@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: irene.kuan.reuters.com@reuters.net; 416-941-8101

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