CANADA STOCKS-Gold miners, BlackBerry surge, push TSX higher

Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:04pm EDT
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* TSX rises 52.14 points, or 0.42 percent, to 12,594.27
    * Six of 10 main sectors decline
    * Gold mining stocks surge more than 5 percent
    * BlackBerry to explore alternatives, up nearly 11 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Monday as a surge in shares of gold producers and
smartphone-maker BlackBerry, which said it was exploring
strategic alternatives, helped offset declines in the financial
and energy sectors.
    Investors also followed data showing Japan's economic growth
slowed more than expected in the second quarter, a third
straight quarter of expansion but below market expectations.
    Bullion rose almost 2 percent to a near three-week high as
strong Chinese gold consumption and an inflow to gold-backed
exchange-traded funds provided support. Gold miners rose more
than 5 percent.  
    Improving economic data from China and other parts of the
world has in recent weeks driven up the prices of badly hit
    "We are heading into a time of the year when gold is
seasonally strong," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice
president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver. "It
could imply that gold stocks could have more room to move up in
the near term."
    "One would have to be very brave or foolhardy to go out and
say that gold stocks have absolutely bottomed, but you do get a
sense that the sector may have seen its lows for the year," he
    BlackBerry said it has set up a committee to look at its
options, including joint ventures, partnerships or a sale of the
company. Shares of the smartphone maker jumped 10.8 percent.
    "Somewhere along the way, somebody will be interested in
either becoming an owner of BlackBerry or a partner with
BlackBerry," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at
    "Hopefully, the committee will be able to put a little bit
of vigor into the company."
   The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 52.14 points, or 0.42 percent, 12,594.27.
    The index is barely up since the start of the year, but
market analysts say that rising global demand for commodities
could boost sentiment for Canadian equities.
    "The tendency of investors to focus on global economic
fundamentals as we ride into the end of the year cannot be
underestimated," Picardo said. "If the global economy continues
to do what it's been doing recently, that's bound to help the
   While six of the 10 main sectors on the index were lower,
gains in the materials and information technology groups helped
keep the index in positive territory.
    The jump in gold miners pushed the materials sector up 4.2
    Goldcorp Inc climbed 5.8 percent to C$29.61 and
Barrick Gold Corp rose 4.1 percent to C$18.74.
    BlackBerry jumped to C$11.13, lifting the information
technology sector 2.2 percent.
    But financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
were down 0.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada losing
0.6 percent to C$63.33.
    Shares of energy producers declined 0.6 percent, mirroring a
decline in the price of oil. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
 was down 1.1 percent at C$31.07.