April 29, 2010 / 9:12 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as earnings impress, euro fears ease

* TSX ends 1.02 percent higher at 12,200.32

* Broad strength led by energy, financials

* Four groups post 1 percent gains or more (Updates to close)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, April 29 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended higher on Thursday, recouping some of the losses of the previous two sessions, as fears over euro zone sovereign debt ebbed and healthy corporate earnings boosted optimism.

Investors were willing to take on risk again after Greece readied severe austerity measures to secure multibillion-dollar aid plans, providing relief to financial markets, which took it as a sign of potential resolution to Greece’s debt troubles. [ID:nLDE63S0BL]

The move paved the way for the heavyweight financial and resource sectors to lead the Toronto index higher, after it slumped 1.66 percent over two days on fears stirred up by credit downgrades of Greece, Portugal and Spain.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended 123.43 points, or 1.02 percent, higher at 12,200.32.

Nine of its 10 sectors were higher, with four posting gains of 1 percent or more. The utilities group was the sole decliner.

The oil and gas sector rose 1.21 percent, supported by the price of crude oil above $85 a barrel, as well as climbing profits reported by three big oil sands producers. [O/R] [ID:nN2997957]

Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) rose 0.68 percent to C$43.18, while Cenovus (CVE.TO) shares jumped 4.72 percent to C$29.94. Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO, which also boosted its cash distribution, edged up 0.06 percent to C$31.26.

“The main thing is that the market is pretty happy about the earnings. We got a bit of a cloud because of Greece, but that cloud dissipated today,” said Luciano Orengo, portfolio manager at MFC Global Investments.

“Basically it’s a little bit more certainty that this rescue package is going to happen and it’s going to happen in a more timely fashion.”

Orengo also said that economic data added to recovery optimism, with a better than expected rise in euro zone economic sentiment in April, and weekly U.S. jobless claims suggesting a gradual improvement in the labor market. [ID:nBRLTFE60X] [ID:nN29243362]

The financials group rose 1.68 percent, reversing the previous day’s drop of more than 1 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), the country’s biggest lender, surging 3.12 percent to C$62.47, and No. 2 Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) adding 1.77 percent to C$75.95.

Other notable earnings on Thursday included Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO, the world’s largest fertilizer maker, which reported a stronger than expected profit and raised its earnings forecast due to a sharp rebound in demand. Potash shares rose 1.36 percent to C$111.23. [ID:nN29200817]

Big screen movie company Imax IMX.TO also posted a market-beating profit and said it will accelerate its expansion plans. But its shares fell more than 3 percent to C$19.81, which analysts said was due to profit-taking after a recent run-up by the stock. [ID:nN29158776] [ID:nN29147063]

$1=$1 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson

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