Toronto stocks have surged again on Thursday, following the lead of stocks of the U.S. and Europe. Markets will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday holiday.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index has added 173.80 points or 1.94% to 9,143.08. Toronto's main index is on target for its best close since Jan. 8.

Mining stocks are higher again on Thursday, adding to recent gains. Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) has surged 11.5%, adding to the nearly 10% rally yesterday that came after the copper and zinc miner announced it sold 5.6 million shares of Kinross (K.TO) for about $101 million. FNX Mining (FNX.TO) rallied 9.1% and Thompson Creek (TCM.TO) has added 8.5%.

Financials are up 4.5%, boosted by strong preliminary first-quarter results from U.S. lender Wells Fargo. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) has jumped 5.1%, CIBC (CM.TO) has rallied 4%, Royal Bank (RY.TO) has added 3.7% and National Bank (NA.TO) is up 3.3%.

Wells Fargo said it now expects to report first quarter earnings of $3 billion or $0.55 per share compared to analyst estimates of $0.23 per share.

Energy stocks are up 2.7% as crude oil is higher on the NYMEX. Ensign (ESI.TO) has surged 7.3%, Calfrac Well Services (CFW.TO) is up 5.7% and Petrocan (PCA.TO) has gained 4.8%.

In corporate news, Cardiome Pharma Corp. (COM.TO) has soared 20.6% after the company reached a collaboration and license agreement with Merck & (MRK) to develop and market vernakalant, an investigational candidate for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Quebecor World Inc. (IQW.TO) has surged 35.3% after the company said it reached agreement in principle on the key terms that will allow it to successfully emerge from creditor protection.

Canwest Global Communications Corp. (CGS.TO) is down 4.75% after the company reported second quarter net loss of C$1.44 billion or C$8.09 per share, compared to a net loss of C$33.88 million or C$0.19 per share in the same quarter of last year.

Telus (T.TO) has dropped 11% after the company announced its new wireless subscribers fell by 46% in the recent quarter and the average monthly bill fell 5.6%.

Healthcare-related service provider Opmedic Group (OMG.TO) surged 26.7% after the company reported its second quarter net earnings rose to $0.27 million or $0.02 per share from $0.13 million or $0.01 per share in the previous year.

Canadian jobless rate jumped to its highest level in seven years in March, extending a trend of rising unemployment, according to data released Thursday by Statistics Canada.

Employment declined by 61,000 in March, all in full-time work. This decrease pushed the unemployment rate up 0.3 percentage points to 8.0%.

Meanwhile, Stats Canada data showed Canadian exports rose 5.2% to $33.1 billion as all sectors increased and auto makers resumed production. Meanwhile, imports increased 1.1% to $33.0 billion led by machinery and equipment. This resulted in a small trade surplus of $126 million, up from a deficit of $1.2 billion in January.

Canadian new home selling prices decreased 0.7% between January and February, compared with a 0.6% decline a month earlier, according to data released Thursday morning by Statistics Canada. This resulted in a New Housing Price Index of 155.3.

On Wednesday, Toronto's main index snapped a three-session losing skid. The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 65.80 points or 0.74% to finish at 8,890.65.

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