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