TSX closes above 12,000
The Toronto Stock Exchange racked up a solid triple-digit gain on Friday to move above the 12,000 level once again.
The benchmark S&P/TSX composite index closed up 169.84 points, or 1.4 per cent, at 12,081.73. The Canadian dollar was similarly strong, up 0.89 of a cent to 98.96 cents US.
In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average turned positive for the year, up 166 points, or 1.4 per cent, to close at 11,644.98.
Both stock markets and Canada's currency were lifted by data showing stronger manufacturing sales in Canada, and sharply better retail sales in the United States.
Statistics Canada said manufacturing sales rose by 1.4 per cent to $47.6 billion, which was the highest level since October 2008. Economists had expected a gain of 0.5 per cent.
In the U.S., retail sales increased 1.1 per cent in September, the largest gain in seven months and led by rising auto sales. Economists had expected a gain of 0.8 per cent.
"The reports are fairly consistent with what we've been seeing, that these numbers and most of the data we're seeing are consistent with low growth but not recessionary conditions," said Robert Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.
"In other words, we have felt throughout [that another recession] was unlikely and the more we see, the more we are of that view."
Markets were also higher on new optimism that European leaders might be able to hammer out a solution to the European debt crisis at a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Paris this weekend.
"It's a little more of a coherent story at this stage and there are a lot of big issues to sort out, but you get the sense that it's past rhetoric and they're now trying to grapple with the mechanics of exactly what they will do," added Gorman.
"I think the sentiment surrounding that is certainly a lot more positive, no question."
Gold was also higher, up $14.50 at $1,683.00 US an ounce. Crude for November delivery was up $2.57 at $86.80 US a barrel in New York.
With files from The Canadian Press