CANADA STOCKS-TSX turns positive, gains tempered by resources, SNC

Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:10am EDT
 
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* TSX up 8.75 points, or 0.7 percent at 12,940.21
    * Energy and financials led 7 of 10 main groups higher
    * Materials and industrials dragged lower by gold miners,
SNC-Lavalin

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index turned
higher at midmorning on Wednesday, but gains were capped by weak
materials stocks and a sharply lower earnings revision by
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
    Most of the TSX tracked U.S. equity markets, which rose on
optimism that a fiscal deal that would prevent the country from
defaulting on its debt could be wrangled between Washington
lawmakers at the eleventh-hour.  
    "The U.S. market is popping up on the upside, so I guess
they're optimistic, and it'll eventually drag us up," said Paul
Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.
    The heavily weighted financials and energy group were up 0.3
percent and 0.5 percent respectively. 
    Brent crude oil prices rose above $110 a barrel, while U.S.
crude rose to $101.72 per barrel on U.S. budget hopes. Meg
Energy Corp rose 4.1 percent to C$35.72, while Encana
Corp gained 0.9 percent to trade at C$18.47. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 8.75 points, or 0.7 percent at 12,940.21, at
midmorning. Seven of the index's 10 main groups were in positive
territory.
    Tempering advances was a 1 percent drop in materials stock.
Gold miners in particular, retreated, with Agnico Eagle Mines
Inc off 3.2 percent at C$24.93 and Goldcorp Inc 
off 1.9 percent at C$24.49.
    Bullion prices retreated as investors moved away from the
safe-haven metal amid prospects of a last-minute U.S. debt deal.
 
    Still RBC's Hand said bullion prices have been very volatile
of late. "Gold is becoming very hard to prognosticate," said
Hand.
    SNC-Lavalin shares took a 5.2 percent hit to trade
at C$41.84 after the Canadian engineering and construction firm
said it slashing its fiscal 2013 outlook. The overall
industrials group was off 0.4 percent.