CANADA STOCKS-TSX bounces higher on oils, China trade data

Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:45pm EST
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* TSX up 42.35 points, or 0.36 pct, at 11,961.06

* China trade data helps boost some miners

* Quebecor rises 3.5 percent after profit reported (Updates to close, adds quotes, details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index managed to push higher in choppy trade on Wednesday, after two days of losses, as oil prices firmed and trade data from China helped lift some mining issues.

The oil and gas sector climbed 0.9 percent as the price of oil rose after a report showed a surprise drop in gasoline stocks in the United States. [O/R] Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rose 1.3 percent to C$75.62 while Suncor Energy SU.TO climbed 0.5 percent to C$31.55.

The materials group, home to miners and fertilizer companies, fell 0.6 percent as spot gold prices sank.XAU= [GOL/] Barrick Gold ABX.TO dropped 2.2 percent to C$39.67.

However, some metal prices were helped by trade data from China, which showed exports and imports grew faster than expected in February, easing some concerns that demand might be softening in the world's top consumer of base metals. [ID:nSGE6290A5] [MET/L]

"China continues to show strong economic growth and whenever that happens people tend to gravitate towards the metals sector or cyclical companies," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.   Continued...