CANADA STOCKS-China factory data nudges TSX higher
* TSX rises 21.87 points, or 0.16 percent, to 13,417.27 * Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance * Talisman jumps after two Icahn nominees named to board * Gold-mining shares drop 1.3 percent By John Tilak TORONTO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was moderately higher on Monday as bullish manufacturing data from China pushed up shares of energy companies, offsetting a decline in gold miners after the bullion price tumbled. Shares of Canadian banks gained as well on expectations of solid quarterly earnings reports this week. Data showed China's factory growth at an 18-month high in November as domestic and foreign demand strengthened. Canada's export-oriented economy stands to gain from production increases in China, a major consumer of commodities. After a streak of five months of gains, the Toronto index was up for a fourth straight session on Monday. "We're looking at nice numbers coming out of China, and that's helping support the global demand picture," said Karl Schamotta, director of FX strategy and structured products at Cambridge Mercantile Group. Investors were looking ahead to a slew of economic data this week, including U.S. manufacturing numbers and the influential U.S. jobs report. The market has been trying to draw a line connecting economic data and potential central bank moves. "You've got some caution in there from the trading perspective, with many people positioning for a lower number than we saw in October," Schamotta said of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report. But he expects a weak performance to boost stocks as it could push back any scaling-back of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 21.87 points, or 0.16 percent, at 13,417.27. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Shares of energy producers rose 1 percent, boosted by higher oil prices. Suncor Energy Inc jumped 1.8 percent to C$37.09, and had the biggest positive influence on the index. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 1.7 percent to C$35.17. Talisman Energy Inc said it will appoint two nominees of activist investor Carl Icahn to its board as part of an agreement with its second-biggest shareholder. The move sent shares of the oil producer up 3.9 percent to C$12.91. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender, was up 0.2 percent, at C$70.56. Gold miners stumbled 1.3 percent, feeling the heat of a 2.4 percent drop in the price of the precious metal. Goldcorp Inc gave back 2.3 percent to C$23.11, and Barrick Gold Corp lost 3 percent to C$17.08. Sources told Reuters that Barrick was set to announce a board shuffle and name a new chief operating officer.
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