CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher on gold and U.S. economic data

Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:02am EST
 
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* TSX up 53 points at 11,593.02.

* Investors weigh mixed bag of U.S. economic data

By Irene Kuan

TORONTO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was higher on Wednesday morning, as red-hot gold prices boosted shares of resource issues, while financials were helped by mostly healthy U.S. economic data.

Gold prices surged to record highs above $1,180 an ounce, boosted by reports India may be interested in buying more bullion from the International Monetary Fund, and by a weaker U.S. dollar that fell against most major currencies [GOL].

No. 1 producer Barrick Gold ABX.TO was up 0.7 percent at C$45.89, while Goldcorp G.TO rose 1.9 percent to C$20.91.

Shares of four banks topped the most influential advancers, led by Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO, up 0.9 percent to C$49.67. Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO was up 0.7 percent at C$67.43, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO rose 1.3 percent to C$68.99. Bank of Montreal BMO.TO gained 1.1 percent to C$53.73.

Investors were weighing a mixed bag of U.S. economic data to gauge the strength of an economic recovery. According to U.S. government reports, jobless claims tumbled to their lowest level in more than a year and consumer spending was up, but durable good orders fell unexpectedly. [nN25548443]

"The market is thin right now. Everyone is trying to digest these five economic statistics," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

At 10:22 a.m. (1522 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 53 points, or 0.46 percent, at 11,593.02.

On the downside, Potash Corp POT.TO lost 0.7 percent to C$117.73, while Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO fell 0.4 percent to C$71.67. (Reporting by Irene Kuan; Editing by Peter Galloway) ((irene.kuan@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: irene.kuan.reuters.com@reuters.net; 416-941-8101))