Canadian markets open positive in New YearJanuary 3rd, 2009 - 11:32 am ICT by IANS
Toronto, Jan 3 (IANS) The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the third largest in North America, began the new year on a positive note Friday, with investors buying shares of badly performing sectors on the first trading day of 2009.The TSX composite index jumped 246.41 points, crossing the 9,000-mark to close at 9,234.11 points.
The Toronto market had ended 2008 with a steep 35 percent loss, wiping off hundreds of billions of dollars.
The composite index, which had crossed the historical mark of 15,000 points for the first time in its history in June, went into a free fall as US financial giants collapsed.
It sank as low as 7,724 points in November, leading to fears of its worst-ever fall in its 150-year-old history.
In the end, the Canadian market saw the second worst decline after the 37.2 percent witnessed at the peak of the Great Depression in 1931.
But this week, it has gained almost 11 percent, helped by a flurry of buying on the first trading day of the New Year. The battered financial sector, which lost 38.5 per cent last year, recovered 1.4 percent on the first trading day, with the major Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) gaining 85 cents to close at $36.95.
The Bank of Montreal was also up 90 cents at $32.15 cents.
The sinking Canadian energy sector also gained 6.25 percent, with Petro-Canada up by $2.38 at $29.10 and the giant EnCana Corp up by $2.79 at $59.75.
The metals sectors - the major driver of the Canadian economy which was bloodied almost 68 percent in 2008 - also posted gains, with Teck Cominco Ltd up by $1 at $7.02.
The Canadian dollar was also up against the US currency as crude prices rose Friday. The loonie - as the Canadian dollar is known - closed at 82.26 cents US, up from 82.10 cents US Thursday.