CANADA STOCKS-TSX up as miners, oil get China boost
* TSX up 16.19 points at 11,649.59 * Stocks rally on surprise China rate cut * Fed offers no hints of more stimulus, weighs on market * Barrick Gold key drag on index By Jennifer Kwan TORONTO, June 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index pared gains on Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered no hints that further stimulus was imminent, cutting into a market rally fueled by a surprise interest rate cut in China. Diversified miner Teck Resources, up 3.4 percent at C$33.40, led the way higher, with Cenovus, up 1.7 percent at C$33.01, close behind. Suncor Energy rose 0.4 percent to C$29.36 and First Quantum soared 4.7 percent to C$19.00. China delivered twin surprises on interest rates on Thursday, cutting borrowing costs to combat faltering growth while giving banks additional flexibility to set competitive lending and deposit rates. Given weak U.S. data and troubles in Europe, there has been rising speculation of more stimulus measures from global central banks. "It shows the Chinese authorities recognize that the slowdown in China has gone far enough," said Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy. "That means there's likely to be an increase in demand for commodities and an increase in demand for the Chinese domestic economy, which will help world trade and therefore commodity-based, resource-based markets like Canada." But comments by U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday gave the market cause to briefly pause. Speaking in congressional testimony, Bernanke said the U.S. central bank was ready to shield the economy if financial troubles mount, but offered few hints that further monetary stimulus was imminent. At 10:20 a.m. (1420 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 16.19 points, or 0.14 percent, at 11,649.59, with the majority of index's key subsectors were higher. Yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc, down 9.5 percent at C$65.19, reported higher first-quarter profit on Thursday, but inventories rose, and the company said growth in same-store sales would slow. Also on the downside were gold mining stocks, led lower with a 4.3-percent drop from Barrick Gold. Barrick's surprising ouster of Chief Executive Aaron Regent on Wednesday raised more questions than it answered for anxious investors, who are left wondering why the world's top gold miner would axe its CEO just a month after singing his praises. Goldcorp sank 3.2 percent to C$39.96 and Yamana Gold was down 3.5 percent at C$15.96. Fertilizer producer and retailer Agrium Inc, up 0.8 percent at C$81.10, more than doubled its semi-annual dividend o n Thursday, underscoring its belief in its long-term profitability.
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