Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Stock Market Higher amid Encouraging Economic Signals from China, U.S.: TSX Moves Higher amid Mixed Economic Data

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Stock Market Higher amid Encouraging Economic Signals from China, U.S.: TSX Moves Higher amid Mixed Economic Data

Article excerpt

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market started second-quarter trading with a solid advance Monday as encouraging factory data indicated that the global economic recovery continues at a slow but steady pace.

One report showed China is likely heading for a soft landing while another suggested the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to expand and a third indicated the eurozone seems to be sliding into recession.

The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 114.88 points to 12,507.06 while the TSX Venture Exchange added 3.39 points to 1,569.79.

"This morning was a pretty good, broad sense of data that gave us a good indication of what's going on around the world on the manufacturing side of things," said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

"Outside of domestic data, the data coming out of the U.S. and now China clearly will be the most important drivers for the Canadian markets and economy."

The commodity-sensitive Canadian dollar shook off early losses amid rising oil, copper and gold prices, up 0.73 of a cent to 100.98 cents US.

U.S. markets also ran ahead after the Institute for Supply Management said that its manufacturing index came in at 53.4, slightly above expectations and up from February's reading of 52.4. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The Dow industrials closed up 52.45 points to 13,264.49. The Nasdaq climbed 28.13 points to 3,119.7, and the S&P 500 index advanced 10.43 points to 1,418.9.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government announced that its official purchasing managers index, a gauge of business activity, rose 2.1 points to 53.1, the highest in almost a year.

However, HSBC's manufacturing PMI for China, although revised slightly upward to 48.3 from 48.1, still came in below 50 -- which signals contraction -- for the fifth month in a row.

"Looking at both measures combined, the data still point to a Chinese economy coming in for a soft landing," commented BMO Capital Markets senior economist Jennifer Lee.

China's growing economy has been a major source of support for a global economy still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis and recession. Its huge appetite for commodities has driven oil and metal prices higher and supported resource stocks on the TSX.

However, the Toronto market is up only 3.65 per cent year to date, lagging other markets as the resource-intensive TSX reacts to China's slowing economy and worsening conditions in Europe.

New York's Dow industrials is up 8.1 per cent so far this year while surging tech stocks have boosted the Nasdaq by almost 19 per cent and the S&P 500 has run ahead 12 per cent.

There were fresh indications that the eurozone's economy is contracting. Financial information company Markit said Monday that its purchasing managers index fell to a three-month low of 47.7 in March from the previous month's 49. …

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