CANADA STOCKS-TSX tracks global stocks higher, aided by resources
* TSX up 66.53 points, or 0.5 percent at 12,596.08 * Eight of the 10 main groups advance * Blackberry falls, drags on tech sector * Rona shares sink on deeper quarterly loss By Solarina Ho TORONTO, May 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Tuesday, helped by higher global equity markets driven by investor optimism and firmer resource and financial stocks. The financials group rose 0.4 percent, as Manulife Financial Corp climbed 2.1 percent to C$15.91. The insurance company's shares have risen steadily over the last few weeks benefiting from the stronger stock market, rising bond yields and recent positive quarterly results. Energy stocks rose 0.8 percent, while the materials group was up 0.4 percent. Barrick Gold Corp climbed 1.8 percent to C$20.86, buoyed by firmer gold prices. The three groups together make up roughly 70 percent of the index. "A lot of volatility in there. Interestingly, the markets are still trying to reach for new highs. They're impervious to whatever economic or corporate data that comes out," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "The equities are moving up. So it looks like it's pretty much across the board internationally, that's what's driving it. People perhaps becoming a little bit more comfortable with debt issues, and the economy." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 66.53 points, or 0.5 percent at 12,596.08. Eight of the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory. U.S. stocks were also higher. The S&P 500 is up more than 14 percent so far this year, propelled by some earnings that beat lowered estimates and the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy designed to stimulate the economy. In corporate news, shares of Blackberry were down 3 percent at C$15.46 as the company unveiled a new mid-tier smartphone device. It hopes its new smartphones powered by its BlackBerry 10 operating system will reverse its fading fortunes. The overall technology group was off 1.6 percent. Rona Inc's stock slumped 4.5 percent to C$10.15 after Canada's top home improvement retailer and distributor posted a deeper quarterly loss as it grappled with restructuring charges and difficult market conditions. Pan American Silver Corp reported a drop in first-quarter earnings as the silver producer was hit by higher costs and a charge on the sale of certain gold assets. Shares were off a modest 0.1 percent at C$12.73.
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