January 26, 2011 / 10:12 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rides resource strength to one-week high

   * TSX gains 1.55 percent to 13,465.75
 * Nine groups rise; materials up 3.64 pct, oil up 2.37 pct
 * Financials sole declining sector  (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index surged on Wednesday, hitting its highest level in a week, led by commodity issues after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and said it would keep its bond-buying plan intact.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 206.12 points, or 1.55 percent, at 13,465.75, its highest level since Jan. 19.
 Nine of the index’s 10 main sectors gained, led by a 3.64 percent jump in materials and 2.37 percent advance in oil and gas.
 The top six heavyweight blue-chip advancers were all up more than 3 percent: Suncor Energy (SU.TO) to C$39.10, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) to C$47.59, and Potash Corp POT.TO ending at C$167.38. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) surged to C$42.64, while Goldcorp (G.TO) climbed to C$41.21. Teck Resources TCKb.TO finished at C$60.91.
 “We’re pretty much hitting on all cylinders,” said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Wealth Management in Waterloo, Ontario.
 Rising commodity prices supported the resource-laden index, climbing first after U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for spending cuts and lower corporate taxes. Further gains were made after the U.S. Federal Reserve maintained its ultra-loose monetary policy.
 The Fed gave the U.S. economy a lukewarm assessment, despite recent signs the recovery was strengthening, saying high unemployment still justified its $600 billion bond-buying program. [ID:nN25283937]
 Also lifting market sentiment on both sides of the border was data showing new U.S. single-family home sales in December rose to their highest level in eight months and prices were the highest since April 2008. [ID:nN26138186]
 But financials were the one weak spot on the TSX, down 0.17 percent.
 Chandler said there may be lingering uncertainty as to when the country’s biggest banks would raise dividends.
 Four of the five large banks were lower on the session, except for Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), which bucked the trend and closed up 0.18 percent at C$56.15.
 Individual company stocks were also moving higher as earnings season started to ramp up.
 Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) shares hit their highest level since July 2008 after the company a better than expected quarterly profit. CP, often a barometer of economic health, rose 2.91 percent to finish at C$68.26. [ID:nSGE70O0EF]
 Business services company CGI Group Inc (GIBa.TO) jumped 5.02 percent to C$19.68 after its first-quarter profit was boosted by new contracts and its Stanley Inc acquisition last year. [ID:nSGE70P066]
 However, shares of Metro Inc MRUa.TO fell 1.7 percent to C$42.88. The No. 3 grocer posted a lower first-quarter profit on Tuesday and its revenue fell short of forecasts as holiday-season competition pulled down food prices. [ID:nN25246122]
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)  (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)                                        

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