CANADA STOCKS-TSX up on banks, telecoms; gold miners retreat

Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:07am EDT
 
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* TSX up 37 points, or 0.3 percent, at 12,100.66
    * Banks lead broad but modest rise
    * Global uncertainty limits enthusiasm

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks turned positive
on Friday as banks gained ground ahead of earnings due next
week, but global uncertainty lingered and gold miners retreated
from a recent rally.
    The continuing saga of the European debt crisis hurt
sentiment, while conflicting views from officials at the U.S.
Federal Reserve muddied the outlook for monetary easing in
Canada's main trading partner.
    "The market is reflecting on the fact that there are still
some problems in the world," said Michael Sprung, president at
Sprung Investment Management.
    Still, the main Canadian index gained as heavyweight banks
moved higher and telecom companies also rose.
    Canadian banks are expected to post sluggish third-quarter
profit growth next week on the back of slowing domestic loan
growth and weakening capital markets, although two or three are
likely to raise their dividends. 
    Royal Bank of Canada added 1 percent to C$53.84 and
Toronto Dominion Bank gained 0.5 percent to C$80.87. BCE
Inc, Canada's largest telecom company, rose 0.8 percent
to C$44.77.
    At 10:50 a.m. (1450 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 37 points, or 0.3
percent, at 12,100.66.
    Gold miners were among the biggest drags, as investors took
some profits after a recent rise.
    The index has moved sideways this week and is on track to
end the week where it started, after being pushed and pulled by
shifting signals from Europe and the United States. 
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany and France
wanted Greece to remain in the euro zone but that it must meet
its reform targets. 
    Meanwhile, two officials at the U.S. Federal Reserve made
conflicting comments about possible monetary easing, leaving
investors unsure if the central bank will move. 
    "What investors are getting is conflicting signals out of
all of this noise," Sprung said.