May 31, 2010 / 8:58 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs as oil rallies, data impresses

* TSX closes up 91.55 points at 11,762.99

* Resources, banks lead index higher

* GDP grows at 6.1 percent annual rate in Q1 (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, May 31 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed higher on Monday as firm commodity prices and robust economic growth data helped lift the index’s resource and banking shares.

Canada’s economy expanded at the fastest clip in more than a decade in the first quarter, with a hot housing market and a return of business investment helping to boost gross domestic product by 6.1 percent annually. [ID:nN31253710]

As well, oil rose above $74, sending the energy-loaded index up 0.5 percent. [O/R]

Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), the country’s largest oil producer, rose 1.3 percent to C$32.50 and natural gas major EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) soared 2.5 percent to C$33.24.

The index’s economically sensitive financial sector, up 0.2 percent, recovered some ground lost last week when some of Canada’s big banks reported results that missed high market expectations. [ID:nN27201801]

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), due to report on Tuesday, added 0.5 percent to C$48.25.

“The market is expecting probably a continuation of that economic recovery ... it’s definitely registering in the Canadian market,” said Youssef Zohny, associate portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management in Vancouver.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 91.55 points, or 0.78 percent, higher at 11,762.99.

But market players cautioned that trading was light because of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday and because Monday is the last day of May. The TSX finished the month 3.7 percent lower.

On the materials side, shares of heavily-weighted Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO rose 2.6 percent to C$107.14 after the company’s sales arm concluded a contract to supply potash to a subsidiary of China’s Sinofert Holdings Ltd (0297.HK). [ID:nN31258380]

$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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