TSX gains for fourth day, lifted by China, U.S. data

Mon Dec 2, 2013 4:51pm EST
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Monday with bullish manufacturing data from China and the United States driving gains in its energy and industrial sectors, offsetting a sharp decline in the shares of gold miners.

Shares of Canadian banks also gained, lifted by expectations of solid quarterly earnings reports this week.

After a streak of five months of gains, the Toronto index was up for a fourth straight session on Monday.

Data showed a gauge of U.S. factory activity reaching its highest level in 2-1/2 years in November and construction spending increasing solidly in October.

In China, figures showed factory growth at an 18-month high in November as domestic and foreign demand strengthened. Canada's export-oriented economy stands to gain from production increases in China, a major consumer of commodities.

"The Chinese data is moving slowly, but it's not stellar," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management. "You need three or four or six months of strong data in the same direction to really say, 'This gives me confidence'."

Investors were looking ahead to more economic data this week, including the influential monthly U.S. jobs report, which tends to move markets. The market has been trying to draw a line connecting economic data and a potential scaling-back, or tapering, by the U.S. Federal Reserve of its stimulus program.

"We think we've got some more to go before tapering comes along," Mastracci said.   Continued...

An electronic board displays the midday TSX index in Toronto February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch