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 January 4, 2010 - 4:45 PM EST
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TSX off on right foot
Metals, materials power Toronto surge

Canadian stocks remained comfortably in the green on Monday with higher commodity prices leading the resource sectors higher. In its first trading session of 2010, the S&P/TSX Composite Index surged 120.79 points, or 1%, to 11,886.90. Mining stocks rallied as the price of copper rose above $3.40 U.S. on the Comex. Teck Cominco added 6.1% to $39.08, Inmet was up 3.6% at $66.06 and First Quantum gained 3.5%. Materials and gold stocks gained as the precious metal surged more than $20. New Gold rose 4.5% to $3.97, Agnico-Eagle Mines was up 2.7% to $58.44 and Eldorado gained 2.6% to $15.30. Iamgold rose 1.5% to $16.76. The company said President & Chief Executive Officer Joseph Conway was to leave the company effective January 15 and be replaced on an interim basis by director Peter Jones. The Energy Index has gained ground as crude oil jumped above $81 per barrel. Suncor was up 3% to $38.31, Canadian Oil Sands added 1.1% to $30.24 and Canadian Natural Resources was up 1.1% to $76.86. Berens Energy soared 31.5% to $2.67 after it agreed to be bought by PetroBakken Energy for $336 million. PetroBakken was up 2.3% to $33.06. Bellatrix Exploration surged 18.5% to $3.14 after reporting fourth-quarter drilling results and 2010 guidance as well as the completion of two new horizontal wells in the month of December in West Central Alberta. SouthGobi Energy Resources was up 3.7% to $17.74 after announcing plans to raise as much as $400 million in a Hong Kong share sale. On the downside, the Technology Index skidded, as Research in Motion lost 3.7% to $68.43 after being downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at GMP Capital. In other corporate news, Sun Life Financial rose 3.4% to $31.27 after the company announced recent enhancements to its employee benefits designed for the public sector groups. Thomson Reuters recovered 0.2% to $34 after the company announced that it had acquired Discovery Logic. Terms were not disclosed. The Canadian dollar surged 0.92 cents to 96.01 cents U.S. ON BAYSTREET Of the 14 TSX subgroups, nine were positive to end the day. Metals and mining stocks were up 4.4%, followed by global base metals, ahead 3.7%, while materials gained 2.4%. The losing groups were weighed by information technology, sliding 1.1%, telecoms, down 0.6%, and real-estate, off 0.5% The TSX Venture Exchange zoomed ahead 22.41 points to 1,543.13, while the Nasdaq Canada index stumbled back 4.52 points to 725.56. ON WALLSTREET Wall Street surged Monday, starting off the New Year on a positive note, after a report showed manufacturing activity is picking up and the weak dollar propelled commodity prices and stocks. The Dow Jones Industrials sailed 155.91 points, or 1.5%, higher to 10,583.96. The broader S&P 500 was up 17.89 points to 1,132.99, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 39.27 points to 2,308.42. Gains were broad based, with 27 of 30 Dow issues rallying, led by Chevron, Exxon Mobil Boeing, United Technologies, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, JPMorgan Chase and Wal-Mart Stores In other news, Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG plans to take control of Alcon by paying $38.5 billion U.S. to buy the 77% of the eye care products maker it doesn't already own. The deal involved Novartis buying out Nestle SA's 52% stake in Alcon for $28 billion U.S. in cash and then merging with Alcon to access the remaining 23% held by minority shareholders. Alcon shares fell nearly 6%. A tumultuous 2009 ended with substantial gains. The S&P 500 gained 23.4%, the Dow industrials gained 18.8% and the Nasdaq composite gained 44%. Economically speaking, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index rose to 55.9 in December from 53.6 in November. Economists surveyed by thought it would rise to 54.3. Stronger manufacturing reports were also released in Asia, adding to bets that the global manufacturing sector is recovering. A separate report from the U.S. government showed that construction spending fell 0.6% in November versus forecasts for a drop of 0.5%. Spending fell 0.5% in October. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Sunday that the central bank's decision to keep interest rates very low between 2002 and 2006 was appropriate and not the cause of the housing market bubble. He said that regulation would have been a better way to avert the collapse that ensued when home prices crumbled, leading to massive foreclosures, billions in losses for banks and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The Senate is currently considering Bernanke's nomination by President Obama for another term as Fed Chairman. The Senate Banking Committee already gave its approval last month. His current term ends on Jan. 31. Treasury prices gained a bit, lowering yields on the benchmark 10-year note to 3.82% from Thursday's 3.84%. Prices and yields move in opposite directions. The price of a barrel of oil jumped $2.19 higher to $81.55 U.S. Gold prices leaped $23 to $1,120 an ounce U.S.

Source: Accesswire (January 4, 2010 - 4:45 PM EST)

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