Bay Street stocks soared on Monday and Toronto's main index finished at its best level in almost six months. The market was boosted by strong economic data out of the U.S. as well as rising commodity prices.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 373.31 points or 3.93% to end at 9,870.37. If the gains hold, Bay Street's main index will finish ahead of the 9,800 mark for the first time since Nov. 5, the same day the index last touched above 10,000.
Mining stocks added another 9.3% as copper climbed 4.3 cents to close at $2.14 per pound on the Comex. Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) soared 12.2%, FNX Mining (FNX.TO) surged nearly 10% and First Quantum (FM) added 6%.
Materials stocks climbed 5.7% and the Gold Index added 4.7% as the precious metal added $14 to settle at $902.20 an ounce. Eldorado (ELD.TO) added 6.2%, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) gained 5.4% and Goldcorp (G.TO) added 5.3%.
Energy stocks gained as crude oil finished at a five-month high. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) jumped 8.25%, Encana (ECA.TO) added 5.25%, Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) climbed 3.4% and Suncor (SU.TO) rose 2.9%.
Light sweet crude for June delivery ended at $54.47 per barrel, up $1.27 on the session. Prices touched as high as $54.55.
In corporate news, Cameco Corp. (CCO.TO) edged up 1.54% despite the fact that Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to Neutral from Outperform, while increasing its price target to C$29 from C$27.50.
Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) added 3.1% after the company announced that it signed a voluntary mitigation agreement with the City of Elgin, Ill., addressing the municipality's issues with CN's acquisition of the principal lines of the former Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company.
Aeroquest International Limited (AQL.TO) climbed 3.9% after the company announced that its second quarter net loss was C$1.0 million or C$0.03 per share, compared to net earnings of C$0.8 million or C$0.03 per share in the first quarter last year.
Boralex Power Income Fund (BPT-UN.TO) slipped 1% after the company reported first-quarter net earnings of C$9.9 million or C$0.17 per trust unit, compared to C$15.2 million or C$0.26 per trust unit in the same quarter last year.
Magna International (MG.A.TO) added 6.2%. According to a Bloomberg report, Russian companies OAO Sberbank and OAO GAZ will join Magna in its big to buy a stake in General Motors' Opel unit.
In the U.S., a National Association of Realtors report showed that pending home sales index rose 3.2 percent in March following a downwardly revised 2.0 percent increase in February. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged following the 2.1 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
The U.S. Commerce Department said that the amount of spending on new construction projects rose 0.3 percent in March compared to the previous month, climbing to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $969.7 billion.
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