CANADA STOCKS-China data fuels biggest TSX jump in four weeks

Thu Aug 8, 2013 5:17pm EDT
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* TSX rises 140.19 points, or 1.13 percent, to 12,552.92
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Gold-mining stocks soar more than 7 percent
    * BCE, Telus, Manulife drop after results
    * Canadian Tire jumps after move to seek credit-card partner

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index jumped
the most in four weeks on Thursday as bullish trade data from
China buoyed commodity prices, fueling a surge in shares of gold
and other mining stocks.
    The surprisingly strong Chinese numbers boosted investor
sentiment in the resource-heavy Toronto market and helped the
index move back into positive territory for the year after
slipping into the red in the previous session.
    Prices for badly beaten-down commodities found higher
ground; gold, silver and copper jumped 1.9 percent, 1.6 percent
and 3 percent, respectively. Gold-mining stocks shot up more
than 7 percent, recording their biggest single-day gain in more
than five weeks.
    Investors tried to keep up with a flood of earnings results,
with reports from BCE Inc, Telus Corp and
Manulife Financial Corp weighing on those stocks.
    The market also brushed aside persisting concerns about the
U.S. Federal Reserve's plans for its monetary stimulus program.
    A rebound in China's exports and imports in July offered
hope for its slowing economy, but an imminent recovery still
looked unlikely. 
    "People have taken the glass half-full approach," said Paul
Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. "This is further
evidence that economic activity is stabilizing and the rate of
decline has slowed."
     The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 140.19 points, or 1.13 percent, at
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, climbed
5.9 percent, with gold producers leading the gains.
    Barrick Gold Corp jumped 8.3 percent to C$17.60,
and Goldcorp Inc added 6.5 percent to C$27.88. The two
stocks had the biggest positive influence on the index.
    Shares of Teck Resources Ltd and Potash Corp
 also rose.
    Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd shot up 12.1 percent
to C$5.10 after Rio Tinto agreed to provide the company
with $600 million in financing for its Oyu Tolgoi mining project
in Mongolia. 
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
advanced 0.7 percent.
    Sun Life Financial Inc was up 2.5 percent at      
C$33.80 after the insurer late Wednesday reported a surge in
quarterly profit. But rival Manulife stumbled 1.4 percent to   
C$17.79 after its second-quarter earnings missed market
    Telus slipped 1.6 percent to C$30.63 and BCE lost 1.5
percent to C$41.90 after results from the two telecoms providers
disappointed investors. 
    Canadian Tire Corp jumped 7.1 percent to C$89.45
after the retailer said it would seek a financial partner for
its C$4.4 billion credit card portfolio to reduce funding risks.
    Canadian Natural gained 0.6 percent to C$31.80 after it
unveiled its quarterly report.