CANADA STOCKS-Energy leads TSX higher as U.S. data fuels optimism

Fri Feb 1, 2013 4:49pm EST

* TSX rises 83.59 points, or 0.66 percent, to 12,768.83
    * Nine of 10 main sectors climb
    * Brookfield Office shares jump after earnings report

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed
stronger on Friday, led by energy and materials shares, which
benefited from a rise in commodity prices after positive U.S.
economic data.
    U.S. non-farm payroll jobs rose in January and gains in the
prior two months were bigger than initially reported, supporting
views the economy's sluggish recovery was on track despite a
surprise contraction in output in the final three months of
2012. 
    Another report showed factory activity in Canada's largest
export market rose last month, reaching the highest level since
April.
    "Investors are assuming that U.S. and global GDP growth will
surprise on the upside down the road," said Sid Mokhtari, market
technician and director, institutional equity research, CIBC
World Markets. 
    The analyst noted investors in general are turning more
positive on equity markets, shifting to stocks from bonds, a
phenomenon some have dubbed "the great rotation".
    "There is some vitality to underlying economic trends. We
seem to be getting back on track," said Fred Ketchen, director
of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "The employment reports have
not been blockbusters, but they are better than some estimates."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 83.59 points, or 0.66 percent, at 12,768.83.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were trading higher.
    Energy shares rose 0.9 percent, tracking higher oil prices.
Brent crude climbed above $116 to hit a four-month high on
economic optimism. 
    Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's largest energy company,
gained 1.5 percent to C$34.42 and played the biggest role of any
single stock in leading the market higher.
    Imperial Oil Ltd shares gained 0.25 percent to
C$43.91 after the company reported a 7 percent rise in
fourth-quarter profit. It also said its final cost of initial
development of the Kearl oil sands project in Alberta is
expected to be C$2 billion ($2.00 billion) more than earlier
projections. 
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, played
the second biggest role in lifting the market, rising 1 percent.
Its influential gainers included Teck Resources Ltd,
which rose 1.8 percent to C$37.
    Other stocks on the move included Brookfield Office
Properties Inc. Its shares gained more than 6 percent
after results for the fourth quarter and full year edged higher.
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