CANADA STOCKS-China data lifts TSX to 10-1/2-month high; RIM jumps
* TSX up 61.91 points, or 0.49 percent, at 12,738.00 * All 10 main index sectors higher * RIM up nearly 6 percent, tech group up 1.77 pct * Materials rise 0.56 percent, energy up 0.32 percent By Solarina Ho TORONTO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index touched its highest level since late February on Friday, helped by a jump in Research In Motion shares after an influential analyst boosted his rating and price target on the company, days ahead of the launch of a new product line crucial to RIM's future. Also boosting the index was news that China's economy grew at a slightly faster-than-expected rate in the fourth quarter, which lifted heavyweight materials and energy shares. The report was the latest indication that China, a major resource consumer, is recovering from a slowdown. "The Chinese number yesterday was the key driving force, I think ... obviously people are a bit more optimistic on the resource side. That certainly helps, especially with things like copper," said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities. The index's materials group was up 0.52 percent, while the energy sector added 0.33 percent. Oil company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 1.36 percent to C$29.73, while miner Goldcorp Inc advanced 1.25 percent to C$37.22. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 61.91 points, or 0.49 percent, at 12,738.00, in its strongest performance since Feb. 29, 2012. All 10 of the index's main sectors were higher, with the technology group up 1.74 percent. RIM stock climbed 5.86 percent to C$15.52 after Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek lifted his stock rating on RIM to "buy" from "hold", adding to optimism about the make-or-break launch on Jan. 30 of a line of smartphones powered by the company's new BlackBerry 10 software. "It's a very, very tricky situation ... There's an awful lot of rumors going out about it, but I think it's going to be a very, very tough uphill battle (for RIM)," Masionis said. He added that recent technical breakouts in a number of sectors, including the Dow Jones transportation average's record high earlier in the week, have also helped the market. Canadian National Railway was the biggest heavyweight gainer, rising 1.52 percent to C$95.22. The overall industrials group was up 0.62 percent. The financials group, which accounts for nearly a third of the index, rose 0.6 percent.
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