CANADA STOCKS-Banks, miners lift TSX; attention shifts to Fed minutes' release

Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:01pm EDT
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* TSX rises 82.09 points, or 0.65 percent, to 12,670.11
    * Six of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Gold miners climb 3.8 percent on higher bullion
    * Nordion jumps after settlement deal

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index jumped
on Tuesday as strength in materials and financials drove
investor sentiment, offsetting worries about the U.S. Federal
Reserve's stimulus program.
    After recording its biggest drop in eight weeks the previous
session, the market recovered to post its sharpest gain in more
than 1-1/2 weeks. 
    A drop in the U.S. dollar lifted bullion prices and pushed
gold-mining shares up 3.8 percent. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index, which has
outperformed the S&P 500 in August to date, had a
stronger gain than its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday. 
    Investors trained their focus on the release on Wednesday of
minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting, which they will scan
for clues on when the U.S. central bank is likely to begin
trimming its stimulative bond purchases.
    "Nobody wants the party to end," said Marcus Xu, portfolio
manager at MY Capital Management Corp in Vancouver.
    "Investors want to find out what the scale of the taper is
going to be, if there's going to be any surprises," he added.
"The Fed is probably going to be a little dovish, given the
economic growth is not significantly stronger than before yet."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 82.09 points, or 0.65 percent, at 12,670.11.
   "The Fed tapering is a foregone conclusion," said Philip
Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group, at
Manulife Asset Management. 
    Investors want details about how rapidly the Fed will move,
added Petursson, who expects a rollback of the stimulus program
to have a negative impact on the Canadian market.
    In Tuesday's trading, six of the 10 main sectors in the
index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed 0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's
biggest lender, added 1 percent to C$64.67 and had the biggest
positive influence on the index. Toronto-Dominion Bank 
rose 0.8 percent to C$87.56.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced
2.2 percent, aided by the gains in gold producers. Goldcorp Inc
 rose 2.9 percent to C$32.89, and Barrick Gold Corp
 was up 3.3 percent at C$20.60.
    Despite lower U.S. crude oil prices, shares of energy
companies climbed 0.3 percent. In the group, Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd was up 1 percent, at C$30.96.
    In other news, shares of Nordion Inc jumped 7.5
percent to C$8.28 after the medical isotope provider said it
settled a lawsuit with its main supplier, Atomic Energy of
Canada Ltd, and would receive a settlement.