CANADA STOCKS-TSX adds to first-quarter gain as Canada's economy shows resilience

·2 min read


TSX ends up 0.8% at 20,099.89


Index rises for sixth straight day


Posts its highest closing level since March 8


Shaw rises 3.3% as Canada approves company's buyout

(Adds details on activity; updates prices to close)

By Johann M Cherian and Fergal Smith

March 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday for a sixth straight day, notching its highest closing level in three weeks, as data showing stronger-than-expected growth in the domestic economy bolstered investor sentiment.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 158.9 points, or 0.8%, at 20,099.89, its highest closing level since March 8.

For the month, the TSX was down 0.6% as global banking turmoil led to a selloff in heavily-weighted financials and volatility in the price of oil. But it gained 3.7% for the first quarter of the year.

The Canadian economy grew more than expected in January and is seen expanding further in February, data showed on Friday, results that are likely to fuel concern by the central bank that inflation has yet to be fully tamed.

"The strength in January is consistent with an economy that remains resilient," said Angelo Kourkafas, investment strategist at Edward Jones Investments.

"The Bank of Canada will still stick to its conditional pause and will be sensitive to any upside surprises in inflation."

Broad-based gains on the Toronto market were led by the technology sector. It was up 2.4%, while consumer discretionary rose 1.8% and financials ended 0.9% higher.

Canada approved Rogers Communications Inc's C$20 billion ($14.8 billion) buyout of Shaw Communications after securing commitments from them to promote competition in a market with some of the highest wireless bills in the world.

Shares of Shaw rose 3.3%, while Rogers was down 2.9%. (Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Deepa Babington)