CANADA STOCKS-China hopes, BlackBerry jump drive TSX higher

Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:50am EDT
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* TSX rises 97.96 points, or 0.69 percent, to 14,276.80
    * All of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * BlackBerry jumps 3.4 percent after quarterly results
    * BRP drops 7 percent after cutting profit forecast

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
sharply on Friday, helped by expectations the Chinese government
will come up with a stimulus package to support the economy and
by a jump in shares of BlackBerry.
    BlackBerry gained 3.4 percent after the company reported a
much smaller-than-expected quarterly loss even as its smartphone
sales continued to slide. 
    The market was also encouraged by data showing a rise in
U.S. consumer spending in February, following a wave of upbeat
numbers that suggested the U.S. economy in the first quarter was
shaping up stronger than some people had expected.
    China's Premier Li Keqiang said that Beijing was ready to
support the world's second-biggest economy and signaled a
willingness to drive infrastructure investment. 
    China is a major market for Canada's natural resources.
    "There's been some expectation built in already that the
Chinese government will not let growth diminish too far, and
this is really the confirmation of that," said Julie Brough,
vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates. 
    The U.S. data suggests that consumers "are getting more
confident," she added. "Confidence is a positive thing and
should help provide the next leg of growth for the U.S.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 97.96 points, or 0.69 percent, at 14,276.80
after declining in the previous two sessions. It is up about 4.7
percent this year.
    "The news today should be supportive for Canada as it gives
resource stocks a lift," Brough said. "There is a generally
positive outlook (for Canadian equities)."
    All of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, showed
the biggest gain, advancing 1.5 percent. Goldcorp Inc 
added 1.5 percent to C$27.87, and Barrick Gold Corp 
climbed 1.4 percent to C$20.23.
    Shares of energy producers received a boost from higher oil
prices. Suncor Energy Inc rose 1.6 percent to C$37.80,
and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was up 0.5 percent
at C$41.99.
    In corporate news, BRP Inc forecast a
lower-than-expected full-year profit. Shares of the snowmobile
maker shed 7.1 percent to C$29.60. 
    BlackBerry was trading up at C$10.30 and was instrumental in
the information technology sector's 1.4 percent gain.
    ($1=$1.11 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)