CANADA STOCKS-TSX rallies on miners, banks

Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:37am EDT
 
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* 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."