* TSX ends up 269.89 points at 11,075.22
* Oil companies and gold miners drive rally (Adds details and comments. Updates closing numbers)
TORONTO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished 2.5 percent higher on Thursday after four days of triple-digit losses as strong U.S. data raised expectations that the world’s biggest economy was on the mend.
The rise in the market was “in tow with the economic news out of the U.S. looking a bit more positive,” said Brian Pow, vice president, research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners, in Calgary, Alberta.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 269.89 points, or 2.5 percent, at 11,075.22.
The U.S. data showed a return to economic growth in the third quarter, pushing up oil prices higher and correspondingly the shares of energy producers. [ID:nN29354547]
Suncor Energy (SU.TO), one of the top heavyweight risers, was up 3.2 percent to C$36.97, while EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) rose 3.5 percent to C$61.83.
“Oil responds well when the economic news is good in the U.S. because they are such a big user of oil,” Pow said.
Gold-mining stocks rose as gold prices rebounded from three-week lows as the U.S. dollar weakened. A weak greenback benefits gold, which is often seen as an alternative to the U.S. currency as a safe asset. Gold is priced in U.S. dollars and a weaker greenback makes it cheaper to buy for holders of other currencies. [ID:nLT261249]
Shares of Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) ended up 7.1 percent at C$39.66, while Goldcorp (G.TO) rose 3.9 percent to C$40.26.
Barrick, the world’s biggest gold miner, reported a big third-quarter net loss as it absorbed a charge to unwind gold hedges, but it said its core earnings rose. [ID:nN29507727]
The rally on the TSX came after four days of steep declines as pessimistic investors shunned risky bets and a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on gold miners.
“You saw the market fall around 7.5 percent and I think lots of people had been staying on the sidelines,” said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.
“They were buyers today and that’s why you’ve seen a decent rally on the stock market today.”
Another stock on the move was base metals miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which gained 5.8 percent to C$32.51 after it reported a 44 percent rise in third-quarter profit. [ID:nN28159071]
Gold miner Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) was the biggest heavyweight loser of the day. Its shares fell 7.4 percent to C$61.19 after it reported a net loss late on Wednesday. [ID:nN28106314]
($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)