Canadian stocks ended sharply higher Tuesday, mostly on global cues and some upbeat economic data from the U.S. and China. Investors await the outcome of the upcoming European Union summit meeting that will seek to resolve the eurozone debt crisis.
Investors were out bargain hunting and catch-up play as the Canadian market remained closed on Monday for Victoria Day, while most other global markets ended as gainers on hopes that European leaders will tackle the Greece crisis.
Toronto's main index, the S&P/TSX, closed Tuesday at 11,451.71, up 171.07 points or 1.52 percent. The S&P/TSX Composite Index touched an intraday high of 11,534.20 and a low of 11,283.00.
The TSX Venture Index closed at 1,246.75, up 18.87 points or 1.54 percent. The index opened at 1,252.29 compared to its previous close of 1,227.88.
Almost all major indices of the S&P/TSX Index were in positive territory, led by resource stocks with the Diversified Metals & Mining, Energy, Industrial, and the Materials indices being the major gainers.
The Metals & Mining Index jumped 2.35 percent with Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) surging 6.67 percent, while Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) moved up 1.80 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) gained 1.77 percent, while Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) soared nearly 7 percent. Osisko Mining Corporation (OSK.TO) dropped 3.71 percent
The Global Gold Index moved up 1.97 percent, although gold futures for June delivery dropped $12.10 or 0.8 percent to close at $1,576.60 an ounce Tuesday on the NYMEX.
Among gold stocks, Goldcorp. (G.TO) rose 1.24 percent, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up 1.53 percent, and Kinross Gold (K.TO) gained 4.34 percent. B2Gold (BTO.TO) shed 2.21 percent, while Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD.TO) moved up 1.71 percent.
The Materials Index gained 1.69 percent with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) up 1.34 and Mercator Minerals Ltd. (ML.TO) up 11.48 percent.
U.S. crude oil futures dropped to settle lower Tuesday, with June delivery shedding $0.91 or 1.0 percent to close at $91.66 a barrel on the NYMEX.
The Energy Index surged 2.46 percent with Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) was up 3.28 percent, while Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) gained 3.51 percent. Encana Corp (ECA.TO) gained 4.80 percent.
The Financial Index gained 0.96 percent with Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC.TO) up 2.73 percent and Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF.TO) gained 1.24 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) edged up 0.91 percent, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained 1.16 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) added 1.0 percent.
Heavyweights transportation systems maker Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) was up 1.08 percent, while smartphone maker Research In Motion Limited (RIM) moved up 0.71 percent.
Sears Canada Inc. (SCC.TO) dipped over 8 percent. Last week, the stock plunged over 15 percent after Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) announced plans to spin off a minority stake in Sears Canada Inc.
In economic news from south of the border, the national Association of Realtors said existing home sales rose 3.4 percent to an annual rate of 4.62 million in April from a downwardly revised 4.47 million in March. Economists had expected sales to climb to an annual rate of 4.66 million from the 4.48 million originally reported for the previous month.
From Europe, U.K. annual inflation slowed more than expected in April and reached the lowest since February 2010, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. Consumer price inflation fell to 3 percent from 3.5 percent in March. The figure was slightly below the expected rate of 3.1 percent. Nonetheless, inflation continues to stay above the 2 percent target.
In China, the Conference Board said the leading indicator for the nation's economic activity increased at a steady pace in April, suggesting a modest growth ahead. The leading economic indicator increased 0.8 percent from a month earlier to 232.4 in April, following a 0.8 percent rise in March and a 1 percent gain in February. Four of the six components contributed positively to the index in April.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its latest economic outlook, observed the global economic recovery as fragile and could be derailed by the ongoing eurozone debt crisis. The Paris-based think-tank on Tuesday, downgraded the outlook for the euro area economy and now sees a 0.1 percent contraction in economic activity in 2012. This compares to the 0.2 percent growth projected in the November report. The OECD expects eurozone to return to growth in 2013. Gross domestic product is forecast to rise 0.9 percent next year, weaker than the 1.4 percent growth projected in November.
by RTT Staff Writer
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