TSX inches up as miners boosted by China data

Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:49pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - The main Canadian stock index edged higher on Friday as healthy Chinese data provided a shot in the arm for mining companies, obscuring a broader decline as investors retreated over stalled U.S. budget talks.

China's vast manufacturing sector expanded in December at its fastest pace in 14 months as new orders and employment rose, a survey showed on Friday.

"Materials did well; financials, oil and gas, just about everything else was off," said Pat McHugh, Canadian equity strategist at Manulife Asset Management, crediting the Chinese data with boosting the materials sector, which includes miners.

Evidence that China's speedy growth trajectory is getting back on track is typically positive for Canada, which provides the giant Asian economy with raw materials.

Fertilizer company Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) gained 1.1 percent to C$40.44 and Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO rose 2.1 percent to C$35.28. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote), Canada's biggest energy company, added 1.4 percent to C$32.12, making it the most positive influence on the index.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 7.55 points, or 0.06 percent, at 12,296.72. It notched a 1.1 percent gain for the week.

Dundee Corp (DCa.TO: Quote) shares jumped 13.7 percent to C$30.47 after the asset manager said it would spin off its real estate assets.

"It's clearly a nice way to unlock value and I'm sure we haven't seen the last of that," McHugh said of the deal.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch