CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains in low volumes, big banks weigh

Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:45pm EST
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(Adds portfolio manager comment, updates prices to close)

* TSX ends up 49.78 points, or 0.38 percent, at 13,084.16

* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups rise

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index gained on muted advances across a range of sectors in low-volume trade on Tuesday, with rises in industrial, telecom and resource stocks offsetting a subdued performance from some of the country's biggest banks.

The index has recovered somewhat from a two-year low hit in mid-December, but investors are not excited by the prospects for Canadian equities in the first half of 2016.

"It slows down into the year-end, but when you look at the data on the other side, there doesn't seem to be anything to get too excited about," said Manash Goswami, portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management Inc. "I want to be where GDP growth is higher, and that is the U.S. over Canada."

Goswami said investors could hold more cash, or look to higher-yielding sectors such as utilities, real estate and telecoms, given Canada will likely remain stuck with low interest rates for some time.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 49.78 points, or 0.38 percent, at 13,084.16, with nine of the index's 10 main groups in positive territory.   Continued...