CANADA STOCKS-U.S. data helps TSX edge higher, banks hinder
* TSX up 15.18 points, or 0.12 percent, at 13,163.53
* Financials down as TD, CIBC earnings weigh
* Gildan down 7 percent (Adds details)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index finished higher on Thursday as U.S. economic data helped to boost commodity prices, but gains were tempered by lower earnings from Canadian banks.
Leading the list of advancers was Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote), which rose 1.2 percent to C$41.76. The independent oil explorer forecast a higher capital budget for 2011 and said it would use about 45 percent of the spending for long-term growth. [ID:nSGE6B108H]
Also helping to lift the market was Teck Resources TCKb.TO, up 3 percent at C$54.02, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), which rose 0.9 percent to C$35.69. Talisman Energy TLM.TO was up 1.4 percent to C$20.12.
Resource shares got a boost as copper and oil prices rose, pushed up in part by upbeat U.S. retail and housing data that showed fresh signs of an improving economy. [ID:nN02209260] [MET/L] [O/R]
"The economy isn't as weak as people thought. The general weakness of the U.S. dollar is forcing commodity prices up," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
Analysts also said resource issues were getting a boost from the lingering effects of upbeat Chinese manufacturing data on Wednesday. [ID:nTOE6B004C]
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up 15.18 points, or 0.12 percent, at 13,163.53. The index rose as high as 13,190.70, its highest level since early September 2008.
The Toronto market joined stock markets around the world in rising as the euro rebounded against the greenback on the upbeat economic data and on speculation that the European Central Bank had boosted its buying of sovereign debt. [MKTS/GLOB]
But gains in Toronto were held back by the index's falling financial sector. Shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), Canada's second-biggest lender, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote), the fifth-biggest bank, fell on Thursday after both banks reported weaker quarterly earnings due to a drop investment banking income. [ID:nN02201701]
TD shed 2.7 percent to C$73.29, while CIBC sank 2.2 percent to C$79.31, helping to push down the index's financial sector -- the lone sector in the red -- by 0.8 pct.
Eight of the TSX index's main groups were higher. The consumer discretionary group was unchanged.
Also on the downside was Gildan Activewear Inc (GIL.TO: Quote), which fell 7.2 percent to C$29.19. The clothing maker posted a 34 percent rise in quarterly profit, but its 2011 financial forecast fell short of expectations. [ID:nSGE6B10AC]
Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO: Quote), one of the most heavily traded stocks, fell 1.5 percent to C$4.70. The civil-aircraft and train maker reported a drop in quarterly profit. [ID:nSGE6B108X]
The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index closed 0.25 of a point higher at 753.18.
($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)
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