Bay Street stocks rallied in the final hour and moved slightly into positive territory. Toronto's main index finished higher for a fifth time in six sessions.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 14.49 points or 0.15% to end at 9,246.11. The index had touched a three-month high earlier in the week before slipping yesterday.
The Telecommunications Index climbed 1.35% to lead the gainers. Among the big names, Rogers Communications (RCI.B.TO) added 3% and Bell Canada (BCE.TO) jumped 2.2%.
Financials posted a 1% gain. CIBC (CM.TO) added 2.2%, while National Bank (NA.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) and Royal Bank (RY.TO) gained 1.4% apiece.
The Information Technology Index led the decliners with a 2.1% drop. Research in Motion (RIM) has lost 2.6% as rival Intel declined to provide guidance with its quarterly report.
Energy stocks closed down 0.6% as crude oil for May delivery lost 15 cents to close at $49.26 a barrel. Oil touched as low as $48.91 after earlier hitting as high as $50.79.
Masters Energy (MSY.TO) lost 0.5% after Sun Century Petroleum Corp. announced that it intends to commence a public offer to acquire the company at a price of C$1.85 per common share in cash.
Pacific Rubiales Energy (PRE.TO) dropped 0.7% after the company was rated Overweight in new coverage at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
In other corporate news, Agrium (AGU.TO) lost 0.3%. The fertilizer producer announced that it sent a letter to CF Industries Holdings (CF) stockholders urging them to withhold votes for CF's three director nominees up for election regarding Agrium's takeover bid.
NovaGold Resources (NG.TO) dropped 5.75% after the company reported a first quarter net loss of C$28.5 million or C$0.20 per share, compared to net earnings of C$24.2 million or C$0.22 per share in the year ago quarter.
ADF Group (DRX.TO) added 5% after the company reported fiscal year 2009 net income of C$15.6 million or C$0.42 per share, compared to C$33.9 million or C$0.98 per share in last year.
On the economic front, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported existing home sales of 31,135 in March, up 7% from the previous month. Year-over-year sales fell 13.7%.
Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reported new motor vehicle sales declined 2.2% to 115,187 units in February.
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