Canadian stock market closes higher on positive Chinese data

The Canadian stock market ended higher Tuesday, with its main index posting the biggest one-day gain since the start of the year as investors were encouraged by positive Chinese economic data and pegged hopes for a global economic recovery.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index climbed nearly 140 points, or 1.2 Percent, to 12,484.05, while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index gained 13.38 points, or 1.28 percent, to 1,054.77.

China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 2.1 percent in March year on year, down from a 10-month high of 3.2 percent in February, official data showed Tuesday. The drop was mainly due to lower food prices, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. It said in a statement that the year-on-year growth of food prices slowed to 2.7 percent last month from 6 percent in February.

China's lower inflation lifted commodity prices including oil and gold and drove big gains in the metals and energy sectors on the Toronto Stock Exchange, leading the market higher after a five- day losing streak in which it lost 3.3 percent.

The metals and mining sector surged 3.25 percent. Shares in Canadian gold giants Goldcorp and Barrick Gold both went higher. Barrick grew 1.5 percent to 27.16 Canadian dollars per share and Goldcorp went up 3.3 percent to 32.97 Canadian dollars per share.

The energy sector jumped about 2.4 percent. Suncor Energy rose 3.1 percent to 29.84 Canadian dollars, while Talisman Energy was 3. 4 percent higher to close at 12.31 Canadian dollars per share.

The financial sector also closed higher with a growth of 0.7 percent. Royal Bank of Canada rose 1.2 percent to 60.18 Canadian dollars per share.

On the corporate front, BlackBerry shares were up 1.3 percent to 15.10 Canadian dollars apiece as presales of its BlackBerry Q10, a new generation model with a physical keyboard, have begun at two Canadian carriers.

At closing, the Canadian dollar moved slightly up to US$ 0.9840 at 5 p.m. local time (2100 GMT), compared with US$ 0.9838 Monday.