CANADA STOCKS-TSX gets boost from earnings, Magna

Thu May 6, 2010 10:37am EDT
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 * TSX up 50.56 points, or 0.4 percent, at 11,925.69
 * Materials, consumer-discretionary shares lead TSX higher
 * Magna rallies 21 percent
 (Adds details, quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, May 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose
on Thursday morning as several companies including Manulife
Financial and BCE Inc delivered strong earnings that helped it
emerge from the recent selloff spurred by Greek debt fears.
 Manulife MFC.TO shares climbed 4.8 percent to C$18.51
after it said that stock market gains and a 20 percent increase
in insurance sales boosted earnings. [ID:nN06254945]
 BCE (BCE.TO: Quote), Canada's biggest communications company, rose
0.5 percent to C$30.48 after posting a steep rise in quarterly
profit. [ID:nN06251322]
 "By and large, earnings have come out pretty well. Case in
point this morning with a few of the well-known names with
Manulife and BCE," said Steve Ibel, institutional equities
trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
 At 10:07 a.m. (1402 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 50.56 points, or 0.4
percent, at 11,925.69.
 Magna International Inc MGa.TO swung to a quarterly
profit on the back of a pickup in global vehicle production
rates and cost cuts, and reinstated its quarterly dividend.
 Magna also signed an agreement with founder Frank Stronach
under which the dual class share structure by which Stronach
has controlled Magna could be eliminated. Magna shares shot up
21 percent to C$77.42, helping to boost the index's consumer
discretionary group by 3 percent.
 The resource-heavy index also benefited from firmness in
gold and base metals prices, [GOL/] [MET/L] which helped push
up the materials group by 1.5 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote)
rose 2 percent to C$44.98.
 Manitoba Telecom Services MBT.TO, however, posted a
quarterly profit that missed estimates, hurt by aggressive
price competition and a non-cash increase in pension expense.
Shares fell 0.8 percent to C$31.50. [ID:nSGE6450J8]
 Four of the index's 10 main groups were lower, reflecting
lingering caution about the possibility that Greece's debt
crisis could spread to other euro zone countries and derail
economic recovery.
 Overseas stock markets fell and the euro touched a 14-month
low on Thursday on fears that Greece's debt crisis could sweep
other euro zone states. [MKTS/GLOB] [FRX/]
 ($1=$1.03 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)