CANADA STOCKS-TSX rallies on miners, banks
* TSX up 47.32 pts, or 0.4 pct, to 11,544.62 * Materials, financials lead gains * Energy shares hurt by soft U.S. retail data * Thin trade ahead of Greek elections By Jon Cook TORONTO, June 13 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index reversed early losses on Wednesday, as mining and financial gains offset energy losses spurred by soft U.S. retail data and worries about Europe's debt crisis ahead of this weekend's Greek elections. Global stocks fell and the dollar edged lower on Wednesday as U.S. retail sales fell for a second straight month in May and wholesale prices dropped by the most in three years, further signs the U.S. economy is struggling. Concerns Spain's financing problems may spread to Italy, the question of whether Greece will remain in the euro zone after June 17 elections, and the potential impact Europe's woes may have on global growth also weighed on stocks. "It's something that people are waiting for before positioning their portfolios," said Marc-Andre Robitaille, president and portfolio manager at Robitaille Asset Management in Montreal. "So it's difficult to see this price action means much on little volume." Canadian stocks appeared to shrug off immediate concerns about Europe. The financial group led the way, rising 1.2 percent as investors considered Canada's generally conservative banks a good hedge against the broader global economic uncertainty. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender, rose 1.3 percent to C$51.19, Toronto-Dominion Bank's shares climbed 1.2 percent to C$79.04 and Bank of Nova Scotia was up 1.2 percent at C$52.23. The battered materials group, which includes gold and base metals miners, rose 1.2 percent. The most influential gainers included Goldcorp Inc, up 2.7 percent to C$41.54, Teck Resources, which rose 3 percent to C$32.35, and First Quantum Minerals, up nearly 4 percent at C$18.20. At 11:12 a.m. (1512 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 47.32 points, or 0.4 percent, to 11,544.62. It had rebounded nearly 100 points after hitting a session low at 11,440.36. Losses were sharpest among energy names, which slid 0.5 percent as U.S. crude oil fell by over $1 a barrel after the weak U.S. retail numbers reignited fears about the health of the world's largest economy. However the beleaguered Canadian energy index had pared some gains after falling more than 1 percent shortly after the open. Declines were led by Penn West Petroleum Ltd, which sank 2 percent to C$13.51. "Stock prices have been hit more than the commodity (itself)," said Robitaille, who added Canadian oil and gas shares, which comprise about 25 percent of the TSX index, have been hurt by a reduction in foreign investment as oil prices have come down from earlier-year highs. "There's less demand coming from outside to push the price up on our stocks."
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