CANADA STOCKS-TSX broadly higher, set for 9 pct gain in 2013

Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:49am EST
 
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* TSX up 51.80 points, or 0.38 percent, at 13,628.97
    * Annual gain much smaller than U.S. indices

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Tuesday, boosted by gains among a broad swath of companies
including banks, railways and energy companies, as investors
looked optimistically ahead to 2014.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 is on track for a gain of more than 9 percent in 2013,
a far smaller gain that those notched by the three main U.S.
indices.
    It was up 51.80 points, or 0.38 percent, at 13,628.97 points
by mid-morning, on the back of modest gains in all but two of
the index's ten main sectors.
    Resource stocks, which make up a large chunk of the overall
index, had the biggest positive impact, with Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd up 1 percent at C$35.95. 
    Gold miners reversed losses from Monday, with Goldcorp Inc
 up 2.8 percent at C$22.87 and Barrick Gold Corp 
gaining 2.2 percent to C$18.61.
    Producers of the precious metal have been hard-hit this year
as the price of bullion has plummeted. 
    While a seemingly surer footing for the global economy has
many investors confident that Canada's resource stocks will lift
their game in the next year, some are still ringing a note of
caution.
    "I don't share everybody's enthusiasm for the markets. They
are trading at rarefied levels," said John Ing, president of
Maison Placements Canada, referring to U.S. markets overall and
specific sectors of the Canadian market such as banks.
    He said interest rates on 10-year government bonds should
rise further, as the U.S. Federal Reserve withdraws stimulus
that has supported equities for several years. 
    One sector that could gain would be gold, he said.
    "The byproduct of higher interest rates will be volatility
in the market and a return to risk assets, and that's where gold
does well."