* TSX up 0.33 percent at 10,947.09
* U.S. data lifts sentiment, reverses early slide
* Gold producers lead rise
* RIM drops on Citigroup downgrade (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index turned positive on Monday morning after encouraging U.S. economic data overcame weakness stemming from a downgrade of Research In Motion RIM.TO.
Several gold producers were providing some offset to the drag from RIM, with Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) gaining as the price of gold erased most of last week’s losses, rising above $1,050. [GOL/]
Barrick rose 2.3 percent to C$39.84, while Agnico jumped 4.8 percent to C$60.34. Goldcorp (G.TO) was the top heavyweight gainer, up 3.8 percent to C$41.30. Overall, the key materials group, home to gold miners, was up more than 2 percent.
The other two major sectors of the Toronto index, financials and oil and gas, both turned higher after a troika of stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data.
Pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly rose to their highest level in nearly three years, while U.S. construction spending made the largest gain in a year. [ID:nN02432431] [ID:nN30418368]
More importantly, the U.S. manufacturing sector grew in October for the third consecutive month and at a faster rate than was expected. [ID:nWEN5869]
“ISM numbers saved the day,” said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal. “We are nonetheless lagging the U.S. market by a full percent even though gold and energy are strong.”
At 10:35 a.m. (1535 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 36.34 points, or 0.33 percent, at 10,947.09. In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 1.4 percent, while Nasdaq .IXIC gained 1 percent.
Early weakness stemmed from a downgrade to Research in Motion RIM.TO, which extended the steep drop from the previous week. The index experienced its first monthly drop since February with a 4.25 percent decline in October.
Citigroup cut its rating on the BlackBerry maker’s stock to “sell” from “buy”, putting RIM atop heavyweight decliners with a 5.5 percent drop to C$60.31. [ID:nWNAB8253]
Cameco (CCO.TO) fell 0.9 percent to C$29.88 after the uranium producer reported an 18.1 percent drop in its third-quarter operating profit. [ID:nN30307716]
$1=$1.07 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway