CANADA STOCKS-TSX rallies, but Europe uncertainty weighs

Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:36pm EDT
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* TSX up 54.69 pts, or 0.5 pct, to 11,551.99
    * Financials, materials 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
staged a modest rally on Wednesday, led by financial and mining
shares, reversing earlier losses spurred by soft U.S. retail
data and worries about Europe's debt crisis ahead of this
weekend's Greek elections.	
    Global stocks were mixed while the dollar edged lower on
Wednesday as weak U.S. economic data and a still simmering
European debt crisis weighed on sentiment and pushed investors
into safe-haven debt. 	
    Markets are expected to remain choppy ahead of a Greek vote
on Sunday and on fears that Spain's financing problems may
spread to Italy. The question of whether Greece will remain in
the euro zone after the election and the potential impact of
Europe's woes on global economic growth also weighed on stocks.
    "This thing in Europe has got everybody pretty much on the
sidelines right now," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at
Caldwell Securities Ltd. "The financials are having a bit of a
better day and that's from an oversold position."	
    Canadian stocks appeared to shrug off immediate concerns
about Europe. The financial group led the way, rising 1.1
percent as investors considered Canada's generally conservative
banks a good hedge against the broader global economic
    Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender, 
rose 1.4 percent to C$51.22 and Toronto-Dominion Bank,
the second largest, also climbed 1.4 percent to C$79.21.	
    Bank of Nova Scotia shares were up 1.2 percent at
C$52.22 after the head of the bank's global wealth management
division said on Wednesday it has no plans now to tamper with
its 36 percent equity stake in Canadian mutual fund company CI
Financial Corp, but it might consider raising its stake
if the opportunity arises. 	
    The battered materials group, which includes gold and base
metals miners, edged up 0.7 percent. The most influential
gainers included Goldcorp Inc, up 1.9 percent to C$41.24,
Teck Resources, which rose 4.2 percent to C$32.72, and
First Quantum Minerals, up 6 percent at C$18.57. 	
    Around 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 54.69 points, or 0.5
percent, to 11,551.99. It had rebounded nearly 100 points after
hitting a session low at 11,440.36.	
    Losses were sharpest among energy names, which slid 0.3
percent. Oil and gas shares remained down despite U.S. crude oil
 turning positive on the back of strong gasoline draws and
higher refinery utilisation rates in the United States. Oil
prices initially sank after U.S. data showed retail sales fell
for a second straight month in May. 	
    Declines were led by Bonavista Energy Corp, which
tumbled nearly 7 percent to C$14.39 and Penn West Petroleum Ltd
, down 2 percent to C$13.53.	
    Enerplus Corp shares fell 2.6 percent to C$13.17
after the oil and gas producer said on Tuesday it will cut its
monthly dividend by half as it looks to cope with weak commodity
    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,
said Marc-Andre Robitaille, president and portfolio manager at
Robitaille Asset Management in Montreal.	
    "There's less demand coming from outside to push the price
up on our stocks," said Robitaille.	
    In other company news, Dollarama Inc shares surged
6.6 percent to C$60.64 after Canada's largest dollar-store chain
reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit and announced a
stock repurchase plan on Wednesday.