CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as soaring golds offset RBC dip

Thu May 30, 2013 11:32am EDT
 
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* TSX rises 4.89 points, or 0.04 percent, to 12,737.50
    * Five of 10 main sectors advance
    * RBC falls nearly 2 percent after results
    * Gold shares climb after jump in bullion price

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 30 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index inched
higher on Thursday as a surge in gold mining stocks, which
followed bullion prices higher, offset a decline in Royal Bank
of Canada after the lender reported quarterly results.
    Investors were also encouraged as limp U.S. economic data
suggested U.S. central bank stimulus measures will likely remain
in place for now.
     A drop in government spending dragged more on the U.S.
economy than initially thought in the first three months of the
year, and jobless claims rose in the latest week.
 
    RBC, whose second-quarter profit met expectations, dropped
1.9 percent and was the biggest negative influence on the market
by far. The results follow profit misses at Bank
of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto
Dominion Bank.
    The results from the lenders show that "consumers are
cautious and cost pressures across all the banks have become a
concern," said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager
at Selective Asset Management.
    There is no easy "cure-all" for their profit challenges, he
said. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 4.89 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,737.50.
    Five of the 10 main sectors on the index rose.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained
2.3 percent. Gold shares advanced 3.8 percent, soaring for the
second straight day, buoyed by a 1.4 percent rise in the price
of the commodity.
     Barrick Gold Corp added 5 percent to C$21.54, and
Goldcorp Inc rose 3.1 percent to C$29.59.
     "Gold seems to be happy around $1400," McWhirter said. "A
lot of the gold stocks, from a technical analysis perspective,
seem to have bottomed." 
    However, he didn't see much upside for the group in the long
term and was cautious on the space.
    The gold sector has lost about 33 percent since the start of
the year.
     Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were
down 0.4 percent.
    Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce reported an 8
percent rise in quarterly profit, due largely to lower
provisions for bad loans and higher wholesale banking income.
The stock fell 0.9 percent to C$79.72. 
    Energy shares declined 0.2 percent after oil prices slipped.