Big gains for Canadian markets


Toronto : US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s assessment Tuesday that the recession may be over by the end of the year had a positive impact even on Canadian markets.

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The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), which had sunk to a five-year low Monday, made a big recovery on the positive assessment from Washington, with the composite index jumping 211.66 points.

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee in Washington, Bernanke had said that the US economic slide may stop after six months, paving the way for recovery later this year.

By the close of the day, the Canadian market had gained much of the 302-point loss Monday as the TSX index reached 7,859.33 points.

The Canadian dollar – the loonie – also gained marginally against the greenback, closing at 80.43 cents US.

As usual, the market rally was led by energy and financial sectors, which were hammered last week and on the opening day of this week.

Having lost more than five percent Monday, the Canadian financial sector roared back with gains of 7.2 percent.

The nation’s top Royal Bank of Canada gained $2.66 to close at $28.48. Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank, another major bank, was also up $2.45 to $35.25.

The bloodied energy sector also gained 5.47 percent Tuesday, with energy majors EnCana Corp. rising $1.33 to $46.11 and Canadian Natural Resources $3.20 to $39.74.

There was more cheering news as Magna International, global leader in auto parts, gained $2.16 to $34.31 despite posting a loss $148 million for the fourth quarter.

Canadian-owned Thomson Reuters Corp. gained a whopping 11.47 percent on the TSX to close at $31.49 after it reported record earnings of $656 million for the last quarter of 2008, up from $432 million during the same period in 2007.