CANADA STOCKS-Gold rush carries TSX higher

Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:17pm EDT
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 *TSX up 28.51 points at 12,173.35
 *Gold again hits record high
 *Five of index's 10 main sectors higher
 *RIM shares jump on earnings
 (Updates to close)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
eked out a modest gain on Thursday as gold prices swept to a
record high and copper prices rose, and, after the bell, U.S.
shares of Research In Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O jumped on better
than expected quarterly results from the BlackBerry maker.
 RIM's U.S. stock rose more than 6 percent after hours.
 In Toronto, gold miners were up 1.7 percent, with Barrick
Gold ABX.TO, the world's No. 1 producer, rising 2 percent to
C$47.12, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO gaining 0.8 percent to C$44.04
as spot gold jumped as high as $1,277.70 an ounce on safe-haven
buying. [GOL/]
  Copper prices were also up, extending a phase of
consolidation just beneath a recent four-month peak, pushing up
the index's base-metal miners by 1 percent. First Quantum
Minerals FM.TO added 2.3 percent to C$65.69.
 "(The index) has benefited from flight to gold and the
rally in copper futures today, so on a relative basis that's
helped insulate the TSX," said Fergal Smith, managing market
strategist at Action Economics.
 Smith said stock market gains on both sides of the border
were undermined by profit-taking as investors awaited key U.S.
inflation data for August on Friday.
 "If we see a soft inflation number from the U.S., that
could be the trigger for additional quantitative easing steps
from the Fed next week," added Smith, which could in theory
boost riskier assets.
 The U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee
meets on Sept. 21 and could announce new stimulus measures,
such as quantitative easing, to stave off economic slowdown.
 Quantitative easing effectively means printing money to buy
assets such as longer-term government debt in a bid to drive
down borrowing costs.
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE unofficially
closed up 28.51 points, or 0.23 percent, at 12,173.35, with
five of its 10 main sectors higher.
 The index's financial group fell 0.5 percent with Royal
Bank of Canada RY.TO losing 0.3 percent to C$54.34, and
Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO dropping 0.6 percent to C$75.72.
 Banks rallied earlier this week on a global agreement on
new bank capitalization regulations. Regulators, aiming to
prevent a repeat of the international credit crisis, agreed
last weekend on rules to raise bank capital requirements. The
deal paved the way for Canada's financial watchdog to end a
moratorium on bank dividend increases and major acquisitions.
 "We had nice pop in all the banking stocks on the feeling
that dividend increases are imminent," Barry Schwartz, vice
president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services,
said. "Maybe some of that excitement is now in the market and
people still have to focus on earnings for these banks. It's
still an uncertain economy."
 The index's powerhouse energy sector was down 0.3 percent
percent, with oil prices sliding for a third day as U.S.
Midwest supply anxieties eased further on news that a major
Canadian pipeline carrying crude to the region would be back in
service by Friday. [O/R]
 Also supporting the index was Potash Corp POT.TO, up 0.9
percent at C$151.88. The Globe and Mail said on Thursday that
Potash is trying to stitch together a consortium led by China
to back a management buyout to trump BHP Billiton's BHP.AX
$38.6 billion hostile takeover offer. [ID:nSGE68F0BA]
 ($1=$1.03 Canadian)
  (Additional reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter