CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on earnings, Europe auctions
* TSX up 21.02 points, 0.2 pct, at 12,009.92 * Nine of 10 sectors on firmer ground By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index pushed higher on Tuesday, taking its cue from solid North American earnings and European government debt auctions that saw good demand, but investors remained cautious about the financial stability of the euro zone. Canadian National Railway, the most influential gainer, jumped 2.5 percent to C$81.36, after reporting late on Monday that its full-year earnings would come in at the top end of an earlier forecast. "We're getting first quarter earnings that are certainly in above expectations, so we're getting a lift from corporate profits that's helping offset the downdraft that's coming from renewed concerns out of Europe," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. With 153 S&P 500 components reporting, more than three-fourths have topped expectations, according to Thomson Reuters Proprietary Research. "We typically see profit trends largely move in the same direction both between the TSX and the S&P 500 but there are some key differences ... our view is the start we got so far bodes well for first quarter profits for the TSX as well." Other key names on the rise were Suncor Energy, up 0.5 percent to C$31.17, Alimentation Couche-Tard, up 4 percent to C$40.94, and Teck Resources, up 2.8 percent to C$36.33 Teck reported a 13 percent increase in quarterly operating profit on strong coal pricing and volumes, but earnings fell short of some expectations as copper prices dropped and production costs rose. At 12:23 p.m. (1633 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 21.02 points, or 0.18 percent, at 12,009.92. Nine of the 10 main sectors were stronger including financials, materials and energy, all inching higher. Healthcare shares were 0.1 percent weaker. On the downside, Enbridge fell 1.2 percent to C$39.10, Shoppers Drug Mart lost 2 percent to C$42.34 and Toronto-Dominion Bank, off 0.2 percent to C$82.67. The TSX was lagging a rise in U.S. markets and overseas, which followed news the Netherlands successfully completed a bond auction a day after its government collapsed in a crisis over budget cuts, but investors demanded a slightly greater risk premium as euro zone yields have edged higher. Spanish and Italian bond auctions also were well covered but their borrowing costs rose again, showing political uncertainty remained uppermost in investors' minds. In other earnings news, Celestica Inc surged 6.3 percent to C$8.89 after the contract electronics manufacturer posted a 44 percent rise in first-quarter net profit and said customer demand is stabilizing.
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