Canada's main stock market in Toronto on Monday advanced as a sharply higher gold price boosted the resources shares.
Following an increase last week, Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 74.03 points, or 0.49 percent, to 15,100.65 points, with six of the eight most weighed sectors in the rising streak.
Metals and Mining jumped 2.26 percent over a sharp rally in gold shares, with the most active gold contract for June delivery jumping 17.7 U.S. dollars, or 1.47 percent, to settle at 1,218.60 dollars per ounce.
The world's biggest gold producer Barrick Gold soared 5.43 percent to 15.74 Canadian dollars (about 12.61 U.S. dollars), and Yamana Gold Inc. advanced 3.2 percent to 4.84 Canadian dollars.
The index also strengthened as Energy rose 1.95 percent when light, sweet crude for May delivery gained three dollars to settle at 52.14 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. advanced 2.37 percent to 40.25 Canadian dollars, while Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. surged 4.82 percent to 11.31 Canadian dollars.
Although weighed by the oil prices slump during recent months, investors were relatively optimistic about the equity market.
According to a business outlook survey released by Bank of Canada on Monday, lower oil prices continue to dampen the overall sales outlook of firms, weighing on investment and hiring intentions. However, a majority of businesses are benefiting from the strong economic outlook in the United States and the boost in competitiveness from the weaker Canadian dollar.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0. 11 percent with Royal Bank of Canada up 0.35 percent to 77.07 Canadian dollars per share.
In other major gainers, Info-tech and Telecom was up 1.29 percent and 0.48 percent, respectively.
However, the losers included Health Care, which lost 0.33 percent; and Industrials was down 0.39 percent.
On the currency front, the Canadian dollar on Monday closed higher to 0.8014 U.S. dollar from 0.7959 U.S. dollar on last Thursday, when the business outlook survey said that many firms outside the energy sector characterize the effects of lower oil prices and the weaker Canadian dollar as favorable for their business outlook.