China data, Potash Corp push TSX higher

September 9, 2013

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index advanced on Monday after positive Chinese data lifted shares of commodity producers on optimism that China’s economy may be set for stronger growth.

Among the top gainers, fertilizer producer Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) added 5.5 percent on market speculation that a resolution might be in sight for a dispute with Russia that split the Belarus potash consortium, a development that could herald higher potash prices.

“The rebound (in Potash Corp) may be a reflection of people thinking that the Russians may not engage in a price war,” said Gavin Graham, chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp.

BlackBerry (BB.TO: Quote) climbed 4.6 percent after a report that an investor, Fairfax Financial (FFH.TO: Quote), was closing in on a rescue deal for the smartphone maker.

Data on Monday showed Chinese export growth topped expectations in August. That complemented recent data signaling slightly improving conditions in the United States, with investors expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve might soon began dialing back its stimulus measures.

“The economy is growing strongly enough in North America to have the Fed talking about tapering their quantitative easing support,” Graham said.

“The numbers we’ve seen, whether it’s Canadian or the U.S., seem to indicate that all the stimulus that they’ve pumped in has led to a rebound, whether it is U.S. housing, auto sales or even commodity prices,” he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 23.57 points, or 0.18 percent, at 12,844.49.

Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, climbed 0.3 percent, with gains in Potash offsetting a decline in gold producers.

Potash shares jumped to C$33.10 and had the biggest positive influence on the market.

Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) lost 1.3 percent to C$30.16, and Eldorado Gold Corp (ELD.TO: Quote) gave back 3 percent to C$8.51.

Shares of energy companies added 0.4 percent. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) rose 0.6 percent to C$36.89.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, gained 0.2 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was up 0.4 percent at C$91.53, and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote), rose 0.9 percent to C$17.85.

BlackBerry advanced to C$11.81, pushing the information technology sector up 0.8 percent.

($1=$1.04 Canadian)