CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher on earnings, data, copper

Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:12pm EDT
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* Materials, industrials, bank shares all higher

* CN profit outlook boosts sentiment

(Updates to close)

By Cameron French

TORONTO, July 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended a choppy session higher on Friday, capping off a strong week on the back of positive economic signals and a batch of solid North American earnings.

Copper rallied to a two-month high, helping drive Canadian mining issues higher, while a strong profit forecast at Canadian National Railway CNR.TO strengthened confidence that second-quarter earnings period would be a boon to investors' confidence.

"There was a lot (of gains) on the back of CN having a fairly good number and raising their profit out for the year, a signal the economy might be in a little better shape," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.

The news bumped CN shares up 2 percent to C$64.98, and helped drive the TSX industrial sector up 1.1 percent, the strongest of the 10 TSX subgroups. Overall eight subgroups were higher.

The investor mood also benefited from a new round of solid U.S. corporate results, including Verizon Communications Inc. VZ.N, and a dividend hike by General Electric Co. GE.N.   Continued...