CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as US data outweighs Barrick, Cameco fall
* TSX rises 47.21 points, or 0.38 percent, to 12,470.12 * Hits two-week high after positive U.S. data * Barrick Gold biggest drag; shares down 8 percent * Materials fall; Energy, financials up By John Tilak TORONTO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit a two-week high on Thursday, driven by positive economic data from the United States, which more than offset disappointing results from mining giants Barrick Gold Corp and Cameco Corp . U.S. data showed consumer confidence climbed to a more than four-year high in October and the pace of growth in manufacturing picked up modestly. The numbers pushed up U.S. stock markets strongly. "U.S. data was better than expected. The U.S. markets are stronger. We're just following along in their footsteps," said Levente Mady, senior portfolio manager at PI Financial Corp. The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX composite index was up 47.21 points, or 0.38 percent, at 12,470.12. The index was led higher by its energy subgroup, up 1.14 percent. Suncor Energy Inc rose 3 percent to C$34.55, playing the biggest role of any company in leading the market higher. Suncor, Canada's biggest oil and gas company, rose after it posted a 21 percent rise in third-quarter profit late on Wednesday and cut spending on oil sands projects. The financial subgroup also helped support the index, rising 0.58 percent. Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.90 percent at C$57.45, and Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.75 percent to C$81.84. MINERS DRAG AFTER RESULTS Gains in energy and financial shares were partly offset by a 0.81 percent decline in the materials group. Barrick Gold, the world's top gold miner, fell more than 8 percent to C$37.04 after it reported a sharp decline in third-quarter profit and forecast higher costs associated with its huge Pascua-Lama mine in South America. Barrick was the biggest drag of any single stock on the index. Though Barrick was "being punished," there might be a limit to the decline over the long term, said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities. "Most gold stocks are down. But the commodity itself is up. That will help put a floor under it," he added. Gold prices were up as gains in stock markets increased the appetite for nominally higher-risk assets such as commodities. The second biggest drag on the index was Cameco Corp , the world's largest publicly listed uranium producer. Its shares were down 7 percent after the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company cut its long-term uranium production target by 10 percent on Wednesday and reported a third-quarter profit drop.
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