TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rebounded from a steep early drop to finish higher on Thursday, rising for the fourth straight session as investors brushed off early worries about debt-stricken Greece and drew confidence from strong U.S. earnings.
Financial stocks that fell early in the session trimmed their losses and ended almost flat, while a snapback in oil prices drew investors to oil and gas issues, resulting in a 0.33 percent gain for the index’s key energy sector.
Teck Resources TCKb.TO led the materials sector higher and was the strongest major stock on the index, rising 5.5 percent to C$43.99. The diversified miner said it would reinstate its dividend, which it cut in late 2008 while awash in debt.
Led by Teck, the materials subgroup rose 0.79 percent, also helped by strong gold-mining stocks such as Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which rose 1.8 percent to C$40.18.
“The market seems to be once again focusing on the strong fundamentals, the strong earnings growth, and that’s really helped create a big turnaround in sentiment on the day,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
Strong quarterly profits from U.S. companies such as Starbucks (SBUX.O) and SanDisk SNDK.O gave a boost to sentiment in both Canadian and U.S. markets.
All told, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 26.31 points, or 0.22 percent, to end at 12,160.87. Seven of the 10 TSX subgroups rose.
In the morning, it fell more than 100 points after data showed Greece’s budget deficit was worse than previously thought.
Since rising nearly 10 percent from early February to early April, the TSX index has traded largely sideways.
Picardo said investors are likely waiting to get a sense of the strength of Canadian earnings before rushing back into the market. However, he said the lack of a sharp decline following the strength earlier in the year was a bullish sign.
“It does seem as though investors are coming in the dips, that’s been a consistent trend for a while,” he said.
Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway