CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits six-week high as market tunes in to Fed show

Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:33am EDT
 
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* TSX rises 69.27 points, or 0.55 percent, to 12,586.16
    * All 10 main index sectors advance
    * Gold-mining shares jump with bullion price
    * RBC climbs, has biggest impact on market

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, July 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on Wednesday to its highest in 1-1/2 months after
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reassured markets by
saying the U.S. central bank's plans for its monetary stimulus
program were not set in stone.
     Financial stocks led the gains, while gold miners moved
higher with the bullion price. Every major sector on the index
advanced.
    Bernanke said the Fed still expects to start scaling back
its massive bond purchases later this year, but he left open the
option of changing that plan if the economic outlook shifted.
 
     "The Fed has a half-decent handle on where they're going,
how they're going to get there and if things change they've got
the common sense to change with it," said Fred Ketchen, director
of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
    Bernanke's statement suggests that the Fed has things under
control but is flexible at the same time, he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 69.27 points, or 0.55 percent, at 12,586.16,
after reaching 12,595.73, its highest since June 4.
    All of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed 0.5 percent.
    Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender,
was up 0.7 percent at C$63.04 and had the biggest influence on
the index. Bank of Nova Scotia added 0.7 percent to
C$57.50.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained
0.7 percent, boosted by a 1 percent jump in shares of gold
miners. The group benefited from a higher bullion price, which
gained on Bernanke's comments. 
    Barrick Gold Corp rose 1.5 percent to C$16.85, and
Goldcorp Inc gained 1.1 percent to C$28.47.
    Canadian National Railway advanced 1.6 percent to
C$106, helping lift the industrials group 1.1 percent.