CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher as golds, financials gain

Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:15am EST
 
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   * TSX up 16.05 points, or 0.12 percent at 13,927.31
 * Five of the 10 main groups higher
 (Updates with details, comment)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index eked
out a small gain in choppy trade on Tuesday morning, as
advances among financial issues and some of the materials
stocks were offset by declines in other sectors.
 Barrick Gold ABX.TO, which reports quarterly earnings on
Thursday, was up 1.5 percent at C$48.73, while Goldcorp G.TO
rose 1.17 percent to C$43.33. The overall materials group was
up 0.12 percent.
 Gold prices rose 1 percent to near a four-week high, while
copper hit record highs.
 The resources found support as Chinese inflation data came
in lower-than-expected, easing concerns that the world's
second-largest economy -- and a major consumer of the
commodities -- would have to tighten its monetary policy. Lower
interest rates tend to support gold buying. [GOL/] [MET/L]
 A softer U.S. dollar, which extended losses against the
euro after U.S. retail sales data missed expectations also
underpinned the precious metal. [FRX/]
 "Gold unquestionably has been the feature on the inflation
news, the pick-up in China," said John Ing, president of Maison
Placements Canada.
 Financial issues rose 0.54 percent. Royal Bank of Canada
RY.TO was up 0.78 percent at C$55.77 and Manulife Financial
MFC.TO advanced 1.04 percent to C$18.44.
 At 10:50 a.m. (1550 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 16.05 points, or 0.12
percent at 13,927.31. Earlier in the session, it hit its
highest level in about 31 months.
 "The technicals of the market, while overbought, are still
very strong," said Ing.
 Five of the TSX's 10 main groups were in positive
territory.
 Energy stocks were mixed, with Canadian Natural Resources
CNQ.TO up 1.78 percent to C$45.16 and Husky Energy HSE.TO
off 1.29 percent at C$27.62. The overall group was up 0.1
percent after falling lower earlier.
 Brent crude prices, which rallied on Middle East unrest,
slipped and closed some of the gap with U.S. crude prices,
which has been dogged by high oil stockpiles in recent
sessions. [O/R]
 On the downside, fertilizer companies reversed recent gains
as some grain prices fell. Potash Corp POT.TO was down 2.9
percent at C$60.98 while Agrium Inc AGU.TO fell 2.53 percent
to C$94.64.
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Editing by Rob Wilson)