TSX ends year broadly higher, gains 9.6 percent in 2013

Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:42pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed out 2013 with a broad but modest gain on Tuesday, boosted by higher miners, banks, railways and energy companies, as investors looked optimistically ahead to 2014.

"A nice close, and I think the momentum will probably continue on January 2nd," said David Cockfield, a portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.

"We are looking at people who are buying for 2014, not for the last of 2013. People who were light on the equity side are getting themselves into position," he said.

The rise capped a 9.6 percent gain for the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE in 2013, a far smaller gain than those notched by the three main U.S. indices. It was the best annual performance since 2010's rise of more than 14 percent.

Much of Canada's lag can be blamed on dismal returns from mining stocks, which struggled with rising production costs and volatile prices, while U.S. stocks were more directly boosted by the U.S. Federal Reserve's massive stimulus program.

In particular, some of the world's biggest gold miners call Canada home and have seen their shares fall even further than the 28 percent decline in bullion this year - its worst drop in 32 years.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) has fallen 46 percent this year, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO is down 37 percent. But the pair reversed Monday's losses in the last session of the year, with Goldcorp up 3.6 percent at C$23.04 and Barrick gaining 2.6 percent to C$18.67.

The index as a whole ended up 40.16 points, or 0.3 percent, at 13,621.55 points, on the back of modest gains in seven of the index's 10 main sectors. It ended 2012 at 12,433.53.   Continued...

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