3 Min Read
* TSX up 66.91 pts, or 0.6 pct, at 11,492.38 * Energy, mining shares lead gains after China data * Solid U.S. bank earnings help sentiment By Jon Cook TORONTO, July 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, led by energy and mining shares, in the wake of data from China showing the world's No. 2 economy has avoided a dramatic slowdown and robust earnings reports from U.S. banks. Data showed growth in China slowed for a sixth straight quarter to 7.6 percent, better than some in the market feared, but low enough to keep open the possibility that more action may be taken by policymakers. Global stocks and commodity prices jumped on the news, though some analysts remained skeptical. "The optimism in the markets is linked to the rather perverse case that is being made that as the Chinese economy slows then inevitably the Chinese government will have to put together some sort of package that will miraculously re-accelerate growth," said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities in Montreal. Underwhelming economic data has led China's central bank to cut interest rates twice in the last two months, but Leitao noted "those measures have not had the desirous impact of accelerating growth." On Friday, nearly all of Canada's 10 main sectors were higher. The powerful energy complex led the way, climbing 1 percent as U.S. crude prices rebounded. However gains were stemmed as China's implied oil demand for June was down 0.4 percent year-on-year. The biggest movers among oil and gas firms included Suncor Energy, up 1.1 percent at C$29.18, Canadian Natural Resources, which rose 1.1 percent to C$26.42, and Cenovus Energy, up 1 percent at C$32.91. Around 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 66.91 points, or 0.6 percent, at 11,492.38. The materials group, which includes miners, edged up 0.8 percent as the China data boosted prices of gold and base metals. Barrick Gold climbed 0.6 percent to C$35.38 and Goldcorp rose 0.7 percent to C$33.91. U.S. stocks rallied as bank shares advanced after better-than-expected earnings from top banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co. The results helped Canada's financial sector advance 0.4 percent. Gains were led by the country's two biggest banks, with Royal Bank of Canada rising 0.7 percent to C$52.57 and Toronto-Dominion Bank climbing 0.6 percent at C$79.69. "U.S. banking activity is healthy," said Leitao. "It's a more solid basis for a market rebound than the Chinese story."