CANADA STOCKS-TSX nears two-month high on Chinese, European policy moves

Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:45pm GMT

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* TSX up 36.28 points, or 0.24 percent, at 15,111.46
    * Five of 10 main index sectors decline
    * First Quantum jumps 7.2 percent, Teck rises 9.4 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index
rose to its highest level in nearly two months on Friday as
investors cheered a move by China to cut interest rates and
signs that the European Central Bank might step up asset
purchases.
    The surprise announcement was the first time in two years
that China had cut rates, following signals that the pace of
growth in the world's second-biggest economy was slowing.
 
    The move helped drive gains in the prices of commodities
such as gold, copper and oil; and that pushed up shares in the
mining and energy sectors. The Canadian equity market is heavily
weighted in natural resource stocks, and the country is a major
exporter of commodities.
    Providing a further boost, ECB President Mario Draghi
indicated that he was willing to take strong steps to prevent
the euro zone from falling into deflation. 
    The benchmark TSX was up for the sixth day and recorded its
sixth consecutive weekly gain, recovering from a sharp market
correction in October. 
    "China is looking for ways to deepen and broaden its
financial systems, its economy, and they are using market-based
tools," said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist, North
America, at Russell Investments. 
    "This is still a world that is dominated by central bank
activity," he added. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 36.28 points, or 0.24 percent, at 15,111.46.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers rose 1.8 percent, with Suncor
Energy Inc gaining 2.1 percent to C$40.52 and Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd advancing 1.3 percent to C$42.68.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, climbed
0.8 percent. First Quantum Minerals Ltd shot up 7.2
percent to C$19.12, and Teck Resources Ltd jumped 9.4
percent to C$19.94.

 (Editing by James Dalgleish and Matthew Lewis)
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