CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as U.S. retail sales jump

Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:02am EDT
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* 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."