CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on economic optimism, led by BlackBerry

Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:01pm EST
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* Index rises 48.10 points, or 0.36 pct, to 13,447.70
    * Strength in financials, BlackBerry, but golds weak
    * Volumes light, market to close early on Tuesday

    By Cameron French
    TORONTO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended
higher on Monday with gains across most sectors as strong
economic data buoyed hopes for a strong start to 2014, while
smartphone maker BlackBerry built on momentum from last
    With many market players already booked off for the
holidays, trading volumes were lower than normal and most
sectors showed only modest movement, with weakness centered in
the gold-mining sector.
    Canada's economy grew by 0.3 percent in October from
September, Statistics Canada said, topping analysts' forecasts
for a 0.2 percent advance, and boosting market hopes that the
country might finally be shaking off the worst of the great
    "Economically I think 2014's going to be better than 2013
and that should be good for the stock markets," said John
Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities in Toronto.  
    BlackBerry shares rose 3.1 percent to C$7.98, building on a
16 percent rally on Friday when the smartphone maker said it was
entering a handset production deal with Taiwan's Foxconn
Technology Co Ltd.
    BlackBerry helped drive the TSX's information technology
subgroup up 0.63 percent. All told, eight of the benchmark
index's 10 subgroups pushed higher.
    The benchmark, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index, unofficially closed up 48.10 points,
or 0.36 percent, at 13,447.70.
    A total of 223.5 million shares valued at C$2.95 billion
changed hands during the session, down from November daily
averages of 310.2 million shares valued at C$4.59 billion.
    The Toronto exchange will close at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) on
Tuesday, and will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday for the
Christmas and Boxing Day holidays.
    The heavily weighted financials subindex climbed 0.43
percent, boosted by asset manager IGM Financial, which
rose 1.8 percent to C$56.18, and Bank of Nova Scotia,
which gained 0.79 percent to C$65.26.
    With just a few days left in the trading year, the TSX
composite is up 7 percent year-to-date, underperforming U.S.
    The materials sector, made up largely of mining companies,
rose 0.06 percent, with weak gold-mining stocks offsetting
stronger base metals producers and a 2 percent rise in
fertilizer producer Potash Corp to C$34.45.
    Kinross Gold fell 2.8 percent to C$4.56, while
Barrick Gold slid 0.7 percent to C$17.72.
    Among individual stocks, Reitmans Canada rose 9.0
percent to C$6.92 after Fairfax Financial said it had
recently bought up 2 million shares, or 4 percent, of the
clothing retailer, bringing its total holding to 13.8 percent.