CANADA STOCKS-Banks, energy companies push TSX higher

Wed Sep 5, 2012 11:14am EDT
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* TSX up 28.51 points, or 0.24 percent, at 11,970.21
    * Banks, miners and energy companies all help with rise

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks were broadly
higher on Wednesday, helped by investors seeing the positive in
recent bank earnings and strong gains among energy companies
after a week of weakness.
    By 10:35 a.m (1435 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index had gained 28.51 points, or 0.24
percent, at 11,970.21.
    The gains reversed a slip since mid-August, when the
benchmark index tested highs near 12,200 points.
    Among the biggest helps were a string of major Canadian
banks which surprised last week with stronger profits and
increased dividends as consumers kept borrowing. 
    "The reporting validated that things aren't quite as bad on
the consumer side as perhaps some people had feared," said Paul
Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. "And the
dividend increases were a pretty big vote of confidence."
    Energy companies also moved higher, even as the price of oil
slipped slightly on concerns about slower global growth. 
    Suncor Energy Inc gained 0.6 percent to C$31.31
after it said on Tuesday that output at its oil sands operations
increased in August compared to the previous month.
    The sector, a major influence on the overall index, had
slipped 2.5 percent in the previous five sessions.
    "Energy stocks are pretty reasonable value again," Hand
    Fertilizer company Potash Corp also gained, up 1.5
percent to C$40.66.   
    Still, concerns lingered as Canada's resource-heavy index
weighed what is likely to happen next in regard to Europe and
    The euro zone probably slipped back into recession in the
current quarter, according to business surveys that also showed
Asia's services sector growth remained muted in August as the
global economy struggled to get its footing. 
    AuRico Gold Inc slumped 21 percent to C$5.44 after
the miner cut its full-year production forecast for the second
time in as many months. 
    TransAlta Corp slipped 3.1 percent after the power
producer sold shares to help pay for a 125 megawatt dual-fuel
power station in Western Australia for $318 million.