CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits one-week high as Fed moves to taper

Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:57pm EST
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* TSX rises 167.67 points, or 1.27 percent, to 13,347.83
    * All of 10 main index sectors advance
    * BlackBerry climbs after former SAP executive joins company

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
extended its gains on Wednesday to hit a one-week high after the
Federal Reserve said that it would begin scaling back its
monetary stimulus program.
    Despite fears of a massive selloff, the Toronto market
quickly moved higher after some initial choppiness once the
statement came in.
    The market has been fixated in recent months on when the Fed
will start rolling back its stimulative bond-buying program,
which has injected trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy
since its inception.
    With the world's biggest economy showing greater signs of
acceleration, investor expectations that the U.S. central bank
might soon start to take its foot off the gas pedal have been
gathering momentum.
    The Fed followed up its announcement by suggesting its key
interest rate would stay low for even longer than previously
    "I think they're going in the right direction," said Adrian
Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management. "I would
agree with the Fed that rates aren't going to go very far in the
near future."
    "It's volatile, and that's one thing investors have to be in
tune with," he added. "It's going to be volatile from here."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 167.67 points, or 1.27 percent, at 13,347.83,
after rising as high as 13,356.85, its highest since Dec. 10.
    All of the 10 main sectors on the index rose.
    Shares of banks and insurers jumped 1.3 percent. Royal Bank
of Canada, the country's biggest lender, climbed 1.5
percent to C$69.80, and Manulife Financial Corp added
2.1 percent to C$20.15.
    The energy sector received a boost from higher oil prices,
gaining 1.3 percent. Suncor Energy Inc was up 2.3
percent at C$36.31, and Enbridge Inc rose 2 percent to
    In corporate news, Barrick Gold Corp said on
Tuesday that two long-time directors, Donald Carty and Robert
Franklin, have resigned from the company's board. The stock was
up 0.4 percent to C$18.31. 
    Shares of BlackBerry Ltd advanced 0.5 percent at
C$6.51 after the smartphone maker said on Tuesday that former
SAP executive John Sims will join the company as head of its
global enterprise services business.