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Commodity-linked stocks push TSX to fresh two-week highs

Kitco News

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index notched a fresh two-week high on Thursday as energy and materials stocks advanced after investors assessed that easing anti-COVID measures in China will revive demand for commodities.

At 1040 a.m. ET (1540 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) was up 66.9 points, or 0.33%, at 20,040.12.

Energy stocks (.SPTTEN) recouped losses from the previous session, gaining 0.6% as crude oil prices bounced back on China-led optimism and signs that some tankers carrying Russian oil have been delayed after a G7 price cap came into effect.

The materials sector (.GSPTTMT), which includes miners of precious and base metals, climbed 0.8% on higher metal prices.

Canadian stocks have recovered sharply from their October lows on hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks may temper their aggressive rate-hike stance on signs inflation may have peaked.

"It's becoming clear that the Bank of Canada is seeing some early signs of a demand slowdown," said Angelo Kourkafas, an investment strategist at Edward Jones Investments.

"Given the magnitude of the rate hikes, they want some time to evaluate how that's going to impact the economy."

The Bank of Canada hiked its benchmark interest rate by half-a-percentage point to the highest level in almost 15 years and signaled its unprecedented tightening campaign was near an end on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, latest U.S. data showed unemployment rolls hit a 10-month high towards the end of November, suggesting the labor market was gradually slowing down.

Among single stocks, Parkland Corp (PKI.TO) gained 5.9% after the food and fuel retailer posted its 2023 outlook.

Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips
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