The Toronto stock market headed higher Monday amid reassuring words on stimulus from the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve and positive news from Europe.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index moved higher by 87.51 points by noon to 12,553.17
The Canadian dollar gained 0.60 cents at 100.81 cents U.S.
The industrials group was among those leading Toronto advancers with Canadian National Railways ahead $1.72 to $79.78 and Canadian Pacific Railway advanced 99 cents to $78.31.
The gold sector improved as Goldcorp Inc. was ahead 59 cents to $45.19.
Among energy plays, Suncor Energy climbed 19 cents to $32.99.
The base metals sector ducked back while copper prices were up seven cents to $3.88 U.S. a pound on the Nymex. Prices for the metal fell last week after HSBC's Chinese manufacturing index went deeper into contraction during March. Copper prices were also under pressure amid soft Chinese housing data and a warning from miner BHP Billiton.
China is the world's biggest consumer of copper, viewed as an economic bellwether as it is used in so many industries. China itself has been a major prop for a fragile global economic recovery.
Teck Resources rose 35 cents to $35.49.
The financials sector ticked ahead as Scotiabank advanced 40 cents to $56.60.
The telecom sector also provided lift with Telus Corp. ahead 51 cents to $57.99.
SNC-Lavalin was also in focus after the engineering firm's chief executive officer resigned.
Pierre Duhaime's departure comes after an internal investigation revealed he signed off on $56 million U.S. of questionable payments, a move which breached the company's code of ethics.
SNC said the company's CFO and chairman refused to approve the payments, but Duhaime stepped in to allow the payments to be made.
SNC also reported Monday that net income attributable to shareholders dropped 52% to $76 million in the fourth quarter, or 50 cents a share, compared to net income of $158.7 million, or $1.04 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Its shares shed early losses and rose 55 cents to $39.82.
The TSX Venture Exchange picked up 22.29 points to 1,577.81, while the Nasdaq Canada index gained 6.06 points to 416.93
All but one of the 14 Toronto subgroups were positive by midday. Industrials led the charge, up 2.1%, while gold and materials each picked up 0.9%.
Only a 0.04% drop by global base metals kept things from being unanimous.
In New York, stocks rallied Monday as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's comments on the job market gave investors reason to believe interest rates will stay low.
The Dow Jones Industrials improved 123.25 points, or 0.9%, to greet the midpoint of the session at 13,204.
The S&P 500 strengthened 14.09 points to 1,411.20, while the Nasdaq leaped 38.18 points to 3,106.10
Stocks were also supported by signs that hedge funds are becoming more bullish on stocks as the market has rallied strongly this year.
The S&P 500 is up 11% for the year while the Dow is 7% higher. The Nasdaq is up nearly 18% in 2012.
Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment were up 4%, after a gangbusters opening weekend for the studio's post-apocalyptic teen death-match film "The Hunger Games."
Shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals surged after European regulators approved a marketing application for the company's weight loss drug.
BATS Global Markets, an equities and options exchange operator, issued an apology Sunday after technical glitches forced it to withdraw its initial public offering Friday.
In a speech to fellow economists, Bernanke said, "We cannot yet be sure that the recent pace of improvement in the labour market will be sustained."
He added that the Fed's "accommodative monetary policies" should help reduce high unemployment over time.
The comments reaffirm investors' expectation that the central bank will keep interest rates low for a long time, and that the Fed will act if the economy deteriorates.
In matters economic, The National Association of Realtors said its index of pending home sales eased 0.5% in February to 96.5 from 97 in January.
The decline was in line with forecasts by economists surveyed by Briefing.com.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury swooned, pushing the yield up to 2.28% from 2.24% Friday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil for May delivery gained 22 cents to $106.97 U.S. a barrel.
Gold futures for April delivery fell $19.80 to $1,682.10 U.S. an ounce.