(Repeats to broaden distribution)
* 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 (Updates to close)
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]
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.
($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)