CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 19-month high as gold shares drive gains

Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:23am EDT
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* TSX rises 30.91 points, or 0.24 percent, to 12,889.40
    * Index hits highest since August 2011
    * Five of 10 main sectors advance
    * Inmet shares up 2 pct after First Quantum extends offer

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit
a 19-month high on Tuesday as strong gains made by gold shares,
buoyed by the highest bullion price in two weeks, offset worries
about the European economy.
    The price of gold climbed more than 1 percent after comments
by an European Central Bank official that eurozone inflation
pressures are moderating, viewed as an indication of continued
monetary easing. 
    An analyst said this could prove to be a short-term bounce
for languishing gold stocks, which are still down about 15
percent since the start of the year.
    "There is a little bit of buying in the commodity sector.
But we don't think it will last," said Arthur Salzer, chief
executive officer of Northland Wealth Management.
    "We are not adding to the positions we have in gold stocks
right now. We're still waiting for a little more weakness," he
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 30.91 points, or 0.24 percent, at 12,889.40. It
earlier reached 12,904.71, its highest since August 2011.
    Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The materials sector, which includes the miners, was up 1.6
    Goldcorp Inc rose 2.9 percent to C$34.13, and Barrick
Gold Corp climbed 1.9 percent to C$30.20.
    Energy stocks gained 0.7 percent, with oil prices rising.
Suncor Energy Inc added about 1 percent to C$31.88.
    Financials, the index's weightiest sector, gave back 0.3
percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest
bank, declined 0.6 percent to C$62.27.
    BlackBerry slipped 3.1 percent to C$14.82, a day
after recording a near 14 percent jump on takeover speculation
and on plans to start selling its latest smartphone in the
United States.
    In company news, First Quantum Minerals Ltd said it
will extend its C$5.1 billion ($4.97 billion) hostile bid for
its smaller rival Inmet Mining Corp by a few days after
a majority of Inmet shareholders tendered shares in favor of the
    Inmet shares were up nearly 2 percent at C$69.97.