CANADA STOCKS-TSX firms as Fed expected to stick with stimulus

Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:20am EDT
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* TSX up 6.4 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,447.01
    * Gold miners lead gainers, banks help

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
slightly on Wednesday, with gold miners marking up strong gains
as investors bet the U.S. Federal Reserve will decide to stick
with its monetary stimulus program for a while longer.
    The index has jumped sharply in recent weeks and is now
trading at two-year highs. In addition to miners, banking stocks
have been a solid contributor to the rise, helped by the Bank of
Canada's move to drop its explicit rate-hike bias last week.
    With the notion of continued loose monetary policy in Canada
and the United States, and signs of renewed growth in the
Chinese economy, investors seem confident that the resource-rich
Canadian index can add further gains.
    "If you are going to be somewhere in the developed markets,
Canada looks to be a pretty good place to be if the Fed
continues to be liberal with its money," said Gavin Graham,
chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp.
    "It is the one that has lagged, and it has lagged because of
gold and materials and energy because people have been worried
about China," Graham said of the Canadian index.
    The Fed is expected to maintain its massive bond-buying
campaign when it concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday and it
may point to softer readings on the U.S. economy to signal that
the policy will be extended into 2014. 
     The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 6.4 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,447.01 by
midmorning. It is at levels last seen in July 2011.
    Uranium miner Cameco Corp jumped 5.3 percent to C$20 after
reporting a sharp jump in profit on higher prices and sales.
    Barrick Gold Corp gained 1.6 percent to C$21.03 and
Goldcorp Inc added 1.5 percent to C$27.88.
    The price of gold extended gains on Wednesday after weak
U.S. jobs data supported the view that the Fed will keep its
stimulus program intact. 
    Yamana Gold Inc jumped 4.5 percent to C$10.68
despite reporting a sharp dip in profit, as the company stuck to
its outlook as said it was focused on cutting costs.
    Canadian National Railway Co slipped 0.5 percent to
C$114.48 as it continues union negotiations to avoid a labor