By Liana B. Baker, MarketWatch
Updated with a correction: A previous version incorrectly reported Tethys Petroleum's executive promotion. The company promoted Graham Wall to chief operating officer on Feb. 1, and David Robinson remains chief executive.
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The Canadian stock market closed higher Thursday as rising commodities prices and favorable corporate earnings kept stocks on the rise.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index climbed 1.3%, or 149 points, to 11,435, its highest close since Jan. 21.
Shares of Air Canada jumped 10.9% after the airline released quarterly results Thursday showing a narrower-than-expected loss.
Shares of Tethys Petroleum Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209088915/delayed CA:TPL +6.02% gained 33.8% following a report earlier this week that tests at an oil well in Kazakhstan were successful.
Rio Tinto shares are sharply higher, but there's greater upside according to HSBC, which recommends a call spread to capitalise on its view.
Shares of Bankers Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/219253220/delayed CA:BNK -1.34% rose 5.4% and shares of Teck Resources advanced 6.1%.
Canadian energy stocks received a boost from oil prices, which finished up 76 cents, or 1%, at $75.28 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil has gained 5.5% this week, which has benefited the resource-heavy TSX in the past three days. Read more about crude oil in Futures Movers.
The Canadian metals and mining index gained 5% as gold prices rose Thursday. Gold for April delivery finished up $18.40, or 1.7%, at $1,094.20 an ounce in electronic trade.
Favorable jobless claims data in the U.S. benefited Wall Street, which finished with gains. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the number of jobless claims filings fell by 43,000 claims last week, significantly better than analysts expected.
Statistics Canada also reported on Thursday that new-home prices rose 0.4% in December over the previous month, thanks to improved market conditions and record-low interest rates, the agency said.
The loonie traded higher with one U.S. dollar buying C$1.0509.