Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto, Wall Street Surge Higher amid Positive U.S. Data, Consumer Sentiment

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto, Wall Street Surge Higher amid Positive U.S. Data, Consumer Sentiment

Article excerpt

TSX climbs more than 100 points on U.S. data

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TORONTO - The Toronto Stock Exchange surged ahead Friday, encouraged by gains from the U.S. markets, after data showed the world's largest economy may be in recovery.

"We continue to grind higher here," said Jason Hornett, a portfolio manager with Bissett Investment Management.

"People continue to be more and more optimistic here in North America and it definitely bodes well for the stock market."

The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 105.45 points to close at 12,613.05.

The advance came after Statistics Canada reported consumer prices rose last month at the slowest rate in 3-1/2 years -- coming in below expectations at 0.4 per cent.

The lack of inflation helped push the Canadian dollar down 0.95 of a cent to 97.17 cents US as the American greenback gained strength against other major currencies. In early day trading, the loonie had dropped to 96.96 cents -- the lowest it's been in more than two months.

On Wall Street, signs of strength in the U.S. economy boosted the Dow Jones industrials index by 121.18 points to 15,354.40 while the S&P 500 jumped 17 points to 1,667.47. Both closed at record highs.

The Nasdaq climbed 33.73 points to 3,498.97.

The U.S. Conference Board said its index of leading indicators gained 0.6 per cent to 95 in April, after it saw a decline of 0.2 per cent in March. The figure came in above what economists had forecast.

The index, which was buoyed by a sharp increase in applications for new homes and condos, is intended to signal economic conditions three to six months out.

The board said the index is 3.5 per cent higher at an annual rate than it was six months ago, suggesting an expansion for the economy, with the biggest risk being a drag from cuts in U.S. federal spending.

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index was ahead to 83.7, higher than the 76.4 reported in April.

At the close, the majority of the sectors on the Toronto Stock Exchange were higher, with energy and metals leading the pack as the largest advancers.

The energy sector was up by 1.92 per cent as the June crude contract jumped 86 cents to US$96. …

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