Canadian market rally continues for fifth day

March 17th, 2009 - 11:31 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, March 17 (IANS) Continuing their gains from last week, Canadian markets extended their rally Monday, with the financial sector edging higher.
The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) composite index rose quickly as trading began but lost early gains later in the day, closing 83.32 points higher at 8,386.71 on some sombre news on the nation’s economy.

The latest figures on employment say the country lost 82,600 jobs in February, more than expected, in addition to 129,000 already lost in January, taking the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent.

Overall, Canada has lost more than 295,000 jobs in the past four months, with the economy shrinking by 3.4 percent.

However, the positive news of profitability by Citibank and the Bank of America in the first two months of the year has helped revive investor confidence in the Canadian financial sector. The Canadian markets have also been helped by the marginal rise in oil prices in recent days.

Financial shares rose 2.3 percent Monday, with top TD Bank gaining $1.13 to close at $42.31. The financial services leader Manulife Financial was also up 68 cents to $13.49.

Energy shares also posted marginal gains on higher oil prices, with the leader EnCana Corp up 46 cents to $50.05 and Canadian Oil Sands Trust 93 cents to $23.71.

Shares in the metals sector were also up 4.7 percent, with the national major Teck Cominco Ltd gaining 24 cents to $5.28. Among the major Canadian companies, shares of the communication leader Rogers were also up 84 cents at $29.13.

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