Canadian markets cross 10,000-mark in six months

Canadian markets cross 10,000-mark in six months

Canadian markets crossed the 10,000-mark for the first time this year on Wednesday amid less-than-expected job losses in the US.

The composite index on the Toronto Stock Exchange climbed 250 points to close at 10,143.43 on strong showing by energy, financial and mineral sectors - the mainstay of the Canadian economy.

Having rebounded from a low of 7,591 in March, the markets have regained almost 34 percent during the past two months. TSX energy shares surged five per cent with crude prices crossing $56.

The national energy giant EnCana Corp. gained $2.18 to close at $61.20 and Suncor Inc. $2.36 to $35.19.

The financial sector also jumped three per cent, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) gaining $1.78 to close the day at $59.25. The top Royal Bank of Canada also surged $1.37 to $45 during the day.

The gold sector also gained 4.5 per cent on higher June bullion contract in New York, with the industry leader Barrick Gold Corp. jumping $1.27 to $38.45.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) also gained 96 cents to close at $89.63.
The Canadian dollar continued to gain against the greenback Wednesday, rising 0.75 cent to 85.78 cents US.

Despite market gains, the two other pillars of the Canadian economy -auto and housing sectors - remain in the doldrums, with bleak prospects of quick immediate recovery.

Meanwhile, Canada has warned US Steel, an American-owned company which took over Canada's Stelco Inc. in 2007, against laying off Canadian workers by closing down it two operations near here.

Industry minister Tony Clement said Wednesday that US Steel had "committed to a series of undertakings regarding, among others, capital expenditures, research and development and production'' when it took over Stelco.

"I am concerned by the actions of US Steel in cutting operations in Canada and by the impact this will have on its workers. While I recognize that these are challenging economic times, we expect the company to live up to its commitments,'' the industry minister said.

He said: "I have sent US Steel a demand letter under Section 39 of the Investment Canada Act, asking the company to comply with its undertakings.  A demand letter is the first step in the enforcement process under the Investment Canada Act.''

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