Strength in the mining and energy sectors pushed Toronto's main index notably higher on Friday. Higher commodity prices as well as encouraging economic news from the U.S. provided a boost to stocks.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 172.13 points or 1.84% to end at 9,496.96. The index challenged a five-month closing high with the rally.
Mining stocks finished up 7.6% as the price of copper moved above $2.10 a pound. Teck Cominco (TCK-B.TO) soared 11.65% after the company said it executed definitive amended and restated credit agreements and related documents, giving effect to the bridge and term loan extension announced on April 21.
Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) gained 15.2%. The company announced the appointment of Marie Inkster as Chief Financial Officer, effective today. Inkster joined Lundin in September 2008 as Vice President, Finance.
Energy stocks rallied 4% as crude oil prices finished above $53 a barrel on the NYMEX. Suncor (SU.TO) surged 7.8% after being upgraded to Buy from Sell and added to the conviction buy list by Goldman Sachs. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) gained 2.2% after Goldman Sachs raised its price target for the stock to $55 from $47.
In other corporate news, Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM.TO) added 4.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Neutral by UBS.
Meanwhile, TransCanada (TRP.TO) shares edged up 1.6%. The company reported net income for first quarter 2009 of C$334 million, or C$0.54 per share, compared to C$449 million, or C$0.83 per share, for first quarter 2008.
ATCO (ACO-X.TO) climbed 5% after the company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of C$96.1 million or C$1.66 per share, compared to C$92.3 million or C$1.60 per share for the same three months in 2008.
On the economic front across the border, the Reuters/University of Michigan's revised reading on consumer sentiment in April came in at 65.1, compared to 57.3 in the month of March. Meanwhile, march factory orders fell 0.9% in March, while the ISM manufacturing index climbed to 40.1 for April.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization on Friday revealed the limitation in providing a clinical solution to its fight against the swine flu outbreak. According to a WHO official, tests prove the current seasonal vaccine against flu would not be effective against the new H1N1 strain.
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