By John Tilak
TORONTO, April 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on Friday, as improved investor sentiment and a rise in
the price of some commodities fueled gains in financial and
material shares, offsetting a decline in energy companies.
The gains failed to stem a 2.2 percent fall in the index
this week, its second-biggest weekly decline of the year,
triggered by a giant commodities selloff on Monday, when the
price of gold posted its biggest ever drop.
Concerns about the global economic recovery and growth in
China have weighed on the resource-heavy market.
Investors closely watched finance leaders of the G20
economies edge away from a long-running drive toward government
austerity in rich nations, rejecting the idea of setting hard
targets for reducing national debt.
Analysts said the lower prices resulting from the selloff
earlier in the week did attract some buyers on Friday.
'The panic fears have subsided and things are stabilizing,'
said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets.
'There's still a sense of caution out there even though
people are not running for the exits,' he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 69.21 points, 0.58 percent, at 12,065.55.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gained
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, added
0.9 percent, helped by a 1.4 percent rise in gold shares.
Separately, a group of Canada's largest pension funds
publicly objected to Barrick Gold Corp's move to award
an $11.9 million signing bonus to its co-Chairman John Thornton,
saying the payment was unprecedented in Canada.
Shares of the gold miner climbed 1.1 percent to C$18.65.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International jumped 3.8
percent to C$77.54 and played the biggest role of any single
stock in leading the market higher. As a result, the healthcare
sector rose 1.3 percent.
Investors were also paying attention to the upcoming
earnings season, which could be a catalyst for depressed
Canadian stocks, which are down about 3 percent since the start
of the year.
(Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Chizu
Keywords: MARKETS CANADA/STOCKS
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