CANADA STOCKS-TSX creeps up after BoJ stimulus, oil shares drop
* TSX up 26.73 points, or 0.22 percent, at 12,449.44 * Japan central bank stimulus adds to chorus of global easing * Crude oil price falls hurt energy companies By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Wednesday as investors cheered the Bank of Japan's move to become the latest major central bank to ease monetary policy, but energy shares dropped on a sharp fall in crude oil prices. Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's largest integrated producer, fell 1 percent to C$33.18 after crude slipped to a six-week low on signs that Saudi Arabia would produce more to dampen prices. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, the country's largest independent oil explorer and producer, was down 0.8 percent at C$32.49. But overall market sentiment brightened after the Bank of Japan, faced with weakening exports and a prolonged slowdown in Chinese growth, eased monetary policy by boosting its asset-buying program to try to spark growth in the world's third largest economy. The move, which followed soon after similar steps from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, was also aimed at encouraging companies to invest cash to expand their businesses. "Corporations need happy pills to get them to spend that money," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "That's what these authorities are trying to create." By 10:50 a.m (1450 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 26.73 points, or 0.22 percent, at 12,449.44, as miners and banks rose. "On balance the market is quiet, people are still trying to get their bearings," Michael added. "I still think there is an upward bias, but we have to be patient." Barrick Gold Corp was the biggest positive mover, adding 1.2 percent to C$41.52, while Royal Bank of Canada gained 0.6 percent to C$56.74, and Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.5 percent to C$81.95. Centerra Gold Inc jumped more than 9 percent after the miner said it would restart operations at a project in Mongolia. Colossus Minerals Inc gained 11.8 percent to C$5.85 after the junior miner said it had reached a $75 million financing deal with Sandstorm Gold Ltd tied to future precious metal production, with the proceeds going to the development of its Serra Pelada mine in Brazil. Shares in B2Gold Corp fell 8.6 percent to C$3.92 after the miner said it will buy CGA Mining Ltd for C$1.1 billion to gain access to its flagship gold mine in the Philippines.
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