CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on miners, possible Maple Leaf bake sale

Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:50am EDT
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* TSX up 51.66 points, or 0.39 percent, at 13,187.75
    * Maple Leaf Foods exploring bakery sale, surges 10 pct
    * Gold miners lead resource rally

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index opened
higher on Monday, with Maple Leaf Foods surging 10
percent after saying it will look to sell its bakery business
and major gold miners and energy companies helping extend gains
to a fresh two-year high.
    The resource stocks, which play a major role in the index,
have been boosted by signs of Chinese economic growth and the
reopening of the U.S. government after a partial shutdown. 
    Gold miners have been particularly buoyed by expectations
that the U.S. Federal Reserve will have to maintain its
accommodative monetary stimulus for longer due to the shutdown.
    Goldcorp Inc gained 2.2 percent to C$25.60 and
Barrick Gold Corp added 1.7 percent to C$19.39.
    That sector has struggled recently - both those stocks are
down more than 25 percent this year - leading to
underperformance for the TSX versus U.S. and other indices.
    "Canada has been a big laggard over the last year," said
Gavin Graham, chief strategy officer at Integris Pension
Management Corp. "Some indications that the gold stocks will
claw back some of their underperformance will help."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 51.66 points, or 0.39 percent, at 13,187.75 by
    The price of gold steadied in early trade after a sharp
rally last week. 
    The country's biggest lender, Royal Bank of Canada,
gained 0.7 percent to C$70.01 after it said it plans to buy back
as much as 2.1 percent of its stock. Major integrated energy
company Suncor Energy rose 0.7 percent to C$37.99.
    Food processor Maple Leaf Foods jumped to C$14.71 as it
looks to sell its controlling stake in Canada Bread Co 
to focus on its meat business. 
    Canadian National Railway Co was one of the
heaviest weights on the index. 
    The railway said on Monday that a "controlled burn" of
propane in derailed tank cars at Gainford, Alberta, began last
night and continues this morning.
    Thirteen cars on a 134-car mixed freight CN train carrying
liquefied petroleum gas and crude oil derailed on Oct. 19. One
car of LPG exploded and three caught fire but none of the cars
carrying crude oil had leaked or caught fire, CN said.