CANADA STOCKS-Resources rebound, lift TSX to near 3-week high

Tue Jul 9, 2013 4:56pm EDT
 
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* TSX rises 88.22 points, or 0.72 percent, at 12,297.09
    * Five of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Couche-Tard slips, one of market's biggest drags
    * BlackBerry climbs as investor meeting takes place

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, July 9 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Tuesday to its highest level in nearly three weeks as robust
commodity prices lifted shares of energy and mining companies,
overcoming a decline in Alimentation Couche-Tard.
    A strong start to the U.S. earnings season, which kicked off
with Alcoa's robust profit report on Monday, also boosted
investor sentiment.
    The gains were capped as Couche-Tard, the convenience store
and gasoline station operator, fell 5.6 percent after its
fourth-quarter results missed market expectations.
 
    Resource stocks, which have played a major role in keeping
the Toronto market in negative territory for the year, were the
session highlight.
    Oil prices climbed in choppy trade, while the price of gold
hit a one-week high on demand for the physical commodity. 
 
    "Clearly resources are rebounding off the bottom," said
Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
    Energy shares in particular are trading at very attractive
valuations and haven't mirrored the recent rally in the price of
oil, he said.
    "There is a bit of a disconnect between the oil price and
oil and gas public companies," added Michael, who is
"overweight" on energy stocks.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 88.22 points, or 0.72 percent, at 12,297.09,
after reaching 12,298.67, its highest since June 19. 
    The market has been weighing the benefits of improved
economic data, such as Friday's positive U.S. jobs report,
against the likelihood of the U.S. Federal Reserve starting to
pull back from its bond buying later this year.
    "We're seeing a split focus, where investors are focused on
equity markets, as well as interest rates and returns out of the
bond markets," said Craig Fehr, market strategist at Edward
Jones. "Investors are taking a bit of a pause trying to digest
better data against the prospect of less stimulus."
    Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, climbed
0.5 percent.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was the
top gainer, adding 1.7 percent. Miner Teck Resources Ltd
 jumped 5.7 percent to C$22.39.
    Gold producers benefited from the higher bullion price.
Goldcorp Inc rose 2.3 percent to C$25.47, and Barrick
Gold Corp climbed 0.6 percent to C$14.66.
    Shares of energy producers added 1.1 percent. Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd rose 2.3 percent to $31.97, and
Suncor Energy Inc was up 1.2 percent at C$31.98.
    Investors also focused on BlackBerry's annual
general meeting, where it faced some tough questions about its
future, after a recent quarterly report fueled a huge selloff.
 The stock advanced 1 percent to C$10.20.