Canadian stocks inched higher on Thursday, led by resource stocks amid stronger Chinese trade data.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 77.50 points, or 0.62 percent, to 12,599.74 while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index rose 10.97 points, or 0.89 percent, to 1,240.08.
Latest trade figures from China showed export grew by 14.1 percent in December from 6 percent in November.
Gold stocks rose, with Barrick Gold Corp. rising 2.26 percent to 33.95 Canadian dollars per share. The firm's main competitor, Goldcorp, jumped 3.56 percent to 36.68 Canadian dollars. Gold miner Yamana Gold Inc. jumped by 5.76 percent to 17.26 Canadian dollars.
Energy stocks also advanced. Suncor Energy shares gained 0.93 percent to 33.58 Canadian dollars. Imperial Oil increased by 0.58 percent to 43.49 Canadian dollars. Canadian Natural Resources climbed 1.75 percent to 29.69 Canadian dollars.
In the mining sector, Teck Resources moved up 2.36 percent to 37.73 Canadian dollars. First Quantum Minerals increased by 2.23 percent to 21.05 Canadian dollars. Miner Capstone Mining Corp. rocketed by 10.16 percent to 2.82 Canadian dollars.
Bombardier Inc., a transportation equipment manufacturing giant, was up 2.31 percent to 3.99 Canadian dollars. Railway operators Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway went up 0. 79 percent to 92.05 Canadian dollars, and 0.58 percent to 108.98 Canadian dollars respectively.
The Technology sector saw strong gains, with IT firm Sandvine Corp. surging by 9.68 percent to 1.70 Canadian dollars. BlackBerry- maker Research In Motion Ltd. was up 3.42 percent to 11.79 Canadian dollars.
On the economic front, Canada's new housing prices rose 0.1 percent in November, following a 0.2 percent gain in October, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.
The latest November figure is slightly lower than the 0.2 percent increase expected by most analysts. There were further signs of a slowdown in the housing market, with only 6.2 billion Canadian dollars value of building permits issued in major municipalities in November, down by 17.9 percent in October in Canada.
At closing, the Canadian dollar strengthened to 1.0164 U.S. dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT), compared with 1.0126 U.S. dollars on Wednesday.