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The close: Commodities push TSX to all-time high Add to ...

Canada’s main stock index hit its highest-ever close on Monday as strength in the prices of commodities such as bullion and copper helped drive up shares in the materials sector.

Investors appeared to shrug off government figures that showed Canadian economic growth falling short of expectations in April, hurt by lower oil and gas production.

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The Toronto market ended June 3.7 percent higher, having climbed in 11 of the last 12 months. The benchmark index also recorded its fourth straight quarterly advance. These gains have pushed the index near its all-time intraday high that it hit in June 2008.

“The TSX has finally caught up to where some of the other markets have been in the past couple of years,” said Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset Management.

“It does set up for a little bit more enthusiasm for the Canadian market,” he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 51.76 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 15,146.01.

“It’s another great month for the Toronto stock market. I can’t remember a run this good for this long,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

“With low interest rates, a good outlook for profits and companies swimming in cash, the earnings multiples could continue to go higher,” he added.

Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Monday.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced 0.5 per cent, following gold and copper prices higher. Barrick Gold Corp jumped 1.7 per cent to $19.54, and Teck Resources Ltd. climbed 2.1 per cent to $24.36.

Shares of energy producers strengthened 0.4 per cent, with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rising 0.4 per cent to $49.03.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, were up slightly. Royal Bank of Canada gained 0.3 per cent to $76.28, and Toronto Dominion Bank rose 0.2 per cent to $54.93.

New York indexes were mostly lower as the Dow Jones industrials shed 25.24 points to 16,826.60 and the S&P 500 index slipped 0.73 of point to 1,960.23, while the Nasdaq was up 10.25 points at 4,408.18.

It’s a shortened trading week for both the TSX and the New York markets. The TSX will be closed Tuesday for Canada Day and the U.S. indexes will close on Friday for Independence Day.

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