CANADA STOCKS-TSX "stars align" as resources, banks rise

Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:53am EDT
 
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   * TSX up 161.63 points, or 1.3 pct, at 12,692.34
 * All 10 main sectors higher
 (Updates with details, commentary)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
jumped more than 1 percent on Wednesday morning as rising
commodity prices and healthy U.S. earnings pushed euro zone
fears to the background and boosted risk appetite.
 Thanks to its heavy weighting in resources, the TSX was
outperforming its U.S. counterparts, as it had underperformed
in the previous session. [.N]
 Energy shares were up 1.7 percent as oil prices rose more
than $2 on the back of data showing U.S. gasoline stocks fell
sharply last week. [O/R]
 Economically sensitive financial issues also fared better
after earnings beats and strong forecasts from U.S. consumer
bellwethers Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote) and Staples Inc (SPLS.O: Quote)
shifted the focus away from Europe's debt crisis. [.N]
 Among the top gainers, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) rose 1.5
percent to C$32.36, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) climbed
1.4 percent to C$36.47 and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) added
1.3 percent to C$54.12.
 "It's a big day for oil ... also people are starting to
feel a little bit of optimism about the Canadian banks. Mostly
because they're not the European banks," said David Baskin,
portfolio manager and president of Baskin Financial Services,
noting quarterly bank earnings start next week.
 While Baskin doesn't expect the banks to beat analyst
expectations, he noted their balance sheets and dividends are
strong.
 At 10:34 a.m. (1434 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 161.63 points, or 1.29
percent, at 12,692.34. All of the 10 main groups were higher,
including materials, home to miners, as copper prices rose and
gold neared $1,800 an ounce. [MET/L] [GOL/]
 Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) gained 1.8 percent to C$50.61, while
First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote) jumped 3.1 percent to C$23.76.
 "Earnings  of companies have been much better than the
macro economic outlook and had we been in a position with a
stable macro economic outlook, the markets would be much higher
... stocks are cheap," Baskin said.
 "Just as yesterday all the stars were misaligned, today
they're aligned ... up, down, up, down, enough to make you
seasick."
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)