CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances on U.S. data, Ukraine relief

Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:27am EDT
 
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* TSX rises 20.99 points, or 0.15 percent, to 14,320.90
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Pembina Pipeline jumps after being added to S&P/TSX 60
index

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 26 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on Wednesday, led by gains in the energy and financial
sectors as bullish U.S. economic data and an easing of tensions
over Ukraine helped support sentiment.
    Data showed a rebound in orders for long-lasting U.S.
manufactured goods in February, with shipments showing strength
after two straight months of declines. 
    Investors, who have been plagued in recent weeks by fears
the situation in Ukraine could spiral out of control, were
appreciating the calm after Russia and the West appeared to draw
a line in the crisis. 
    The Toronto market gained for a second straight session and
is up about 5 percent this year. 
    "The markets are fighting their fight. It's an arm wrestle
between earnings and worries, and earnings continue to win,"
said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at
Baskin Financial Services.
    "We believe we are at the beginning stages of a multi-year
recovery in North America," he added. "There are a number of
reasonably priced Canadian companies across the board." 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 20.99 points, or 0.15 percent, at 14,320.90.
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada advancing 0.4
percent to C$72.99.
    Energy shares, which received a boost from higher U.S. crude
oil prices, climbed 0.3 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
 rose 0.4 percent to C$41.89, and Enbridge Inc 
added 0.5 percent to C$50.03.
    A decline in the materials sector, which includes mining
stocks, helped limit the index's gains. Goldcorp Inc shed
2.5 percent to C$27.78.
    Turquoise Hill dropped 2.9 percent, to C$3.71,
after technical problems hurt first-quarter production at the
Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia. Turquoise Hill owns
a majority interest in Oyu Tolgoi and is controlled by Rio Tinto
. 
    In other corporate news, Pembina Pipeline jumped as
much as 4.6 percent, hitting a 52-week high, after being added
to the S&P/TSX 60 index late on Tuesday.
    "There's no hype to Pembina Pipeline. It's a real company
that delivers the goods," said Schwartz, whose Baskin Financial
owns the stock. "What I care about is owning companies that
provide products and services that we cannot live without, and
Pembina Pipeline is one of them." 

 (Editing by Chris Reese)