CANADA STOCKS-TSX posts modest gain on U.S. data, higher materials

Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:45pm EST
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* TSX rises 8.77 points, or 0.07 percent, to 13,370.83
    * Six of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Trading volumes less than half the daily average
    * Gold-mining shares climb with bullion price

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged
higher in light trading on Thursday as positive U.S. economic
data on Wednesday supported sentiment and pushed up materials
shares, offsetting weakness in shares of financial companies. 
    Investors remained encouraged by a survey that showed U.S.
consumer sentiment climbed in November and data that indicated
the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits unexpectedly dropped last week. 
    The Toronto market, which is up about 7.5 percent this year,
recorded a second straight daily gain. 
    But with U.S. stock markets closed for the Thanksgiving
holiday, trading volumes were less than half the daily average.
    "A lot of the economic data has been mixed but positive
overall," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner
Investment Partners, a unit of Richardson GMP.
    "The question is, is it enough for the Fed to feel
comfortable in reducing some of the stimulus?" he added,
referring to the U.S. Federal Reserve's bond buying program.
"That's a question that hasn't been answered yet."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 8.77 points, or 0.07 percent, at 13,370.83. 
    About 128 million shares changed hands, compared with an
average daily volume of about 294 million shares in October,
according to market operator TMX Group.
    "It's a typical U.S. holiday, when things are relatively
quiet," said Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC
Markets Canada. "Nobody really wants to rock the boat on days
like this."
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced
0.9 percent, posting the strongest gain.
    Teck Resources Ltd jumped 2.8 percent to C$25.95,
Potash Corp added 0.7 percent to C$33.41, and Barrick
Gold Corp climbed 0.6 percent to C$17.44.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
slipped 0.2 percent ahead of next week's reporting season for
some of the country's biggest banks.
    Royal Bank of Canada gave back 0.2 percent to
C$70.37, and Bank of Montreal lost 0.7 percent to