Canadian benchmark equity index gains over 200 points as oil prices advance

08:40, May 28, 2010      

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Canadian stocks advanced as energy sector gains from higher crude-oil prices outweighed disappointing financial results from major banks. The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed 205.23 points, or 1.78 percent, higher at 11,749.12 on Thursday.

Eleven of the twelve sectors on the Toronto Stock Exchange registered gains with the only exception of the financial sector which lost 0.01 percent. The index measuring the diversified metals & mining sector jumped 5.93 percent higher. The index measuring the energy sector climbed 4.20 percent.

Western Coal Corp. rose 14.26 percent. Lundin Mining Corp. grew 9.42 percent. HudBay Minerals Inc. advanced 7.60 percent. Inmet Mining Corp. added 6.80 percent. Teck Resources Ltd. increased 6. 58 percent.

Crude oil for July delivery climbed 4.57 percent to 74.78 U.S. dollars a barrel. Oil is Canada's largest export.

Bankers Petroleum Ltd. closed 7.88 percent higher. Crew Energy Inc. added 7.55 percent. Suncor Energy Inc. rose 5.47 percent.

A weak spate of earnings by major Canadian banks hurt some financials stocks. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's largest lender, dropped 4.41 percent, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the country's fifth largest lender, lost 4.34 percent after they reported worse-than-expected second-quarter earlings.

However, Manulife Financial Corp., Canada's biggest insurer, advanced 6.63 percent after Citigroup analyst Colin W. Devine upgraded its shares to "buy" from "hold."

Data released by Statistics Canada on Thursday showed that Canadian corporations' operating profits in the first quarter rose 4.8 percent from the previous quarter. This marks the third consecutive quarter of growth since the second quarter of 2009.

On the currency front, Canadian dollar gained for the first time in four days against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as China's foreign-exchange regulator affirmed its commitment to investing in Europe.

One U.S. dollar was purchasing 1.0484 Canadian dollars at 5 pm local time (2100 GMT) on Thursday, compared with one U.S. dollar buying 1.0711 Canadian dollars on Wednesday.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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