CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as U.S. retail sales jump
* TSX up 44.81 points, or 0.4 percent, to 11,883.14 * Financial and energy stocks lead broad gains By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index opened higher on Tuesday as U.S. retail sales rose for the first time in four months, buoyed by an uptick in consumer spending that could spur economic growth. The U.S. data bolstered the view that a slowdown in economic growth during the second quarter will prove temporary in the United States, Canada's main trading partner. "It's very positive. It puts the nail in the coffin of those who were worried about a recession," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services in Toronto. By 10:25 a.m. (1425 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index had added 44.81 points, or 0.4 percent, to 11,883.14. Most of the index's main sectors pushed higher, with the information technology sector lagging as Research In Motion weighed heavily, down 3.6 percent at C$7.73. Smartphone market data released by Gartner showed the BlackBerry maker's competitive position had eroded further. Materials companies also had a negative overall effect on the index. But declines were offset by strong performances from some of the index's biggest hitters, including Royal Bank of Canada , up 1.4 percent to C$51.63, and Canadian Natural Resources Inc, which added 1.9 percent to C$30.72. Baskin's Schwartz said stocks in a string of sectors including telecoms, utilities and consumer staples had hit multi-year highs recently and the index could yet bounce higher with the help of miners and oil and gas companies. "We're just waiting for the commodity complex to join the party, and if it does you could easily see a 300-500 point move on the TSX in a very rapid period of time."
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