The Toronto stock market jumped more than 250 points yesterday to its first close above 10,000 in six months, powered ahead by news suggesting that U.S. job losses are slowing.

“The market is finding, appropriately, that we aren’t in such a steep economic decline,” said Kate Warne, Canadian market specialist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

“The economy, particularly in the U.S., is still slowing down, but the pace is less fast.”

Toronto’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 262.71 points or 2.66 per cent to 10,143.43, leaving the benchmark Canadian index up 34 per cent from its trough in early March.

The gain came despite news that vehicle parts giant Magna International Inc. has suspended its dividend after first-quarter sales sagged to $3.6 billion US from $6.6 billion, with a net loss of $200 million. Magna shares rose 30 cents to $43.42.

The TSX Venture Exchange added 17.5 points to 1,047.86.

“It’s like the banks to a certain extent — everybody knows the auto industry is struggling, and the fact they suspended the dividend, that there’s a loss, none of that is a surprise,” Warne said.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.75 cent to 85.78 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that building permits were up 23.5 per cent in March after five straight months of decline.

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