CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on miners, possible Maple Leaf bake sale
* TSX up 51.66 points, or 0.39 percent, at 13,187.75 * Maple Leaf Foods exploring bakery sale, surges 10 pct * Gold miners lead resource rally By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index opened higher on Monday, with Maple Leaf Foods surging 10 percent after saying it will look to sell its bakery business and major gold miners and energy companies helping extend gains to a fresh two-year high. The resource stocks, which play a major role in the index, have been boosted by signs of Chinese economic growth and the reopening of the U.S. government after a partial shutdown. Gold miners have been particularly buoyed by expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will have to maintain its accommodative monetary stimulus for longer due to the shutdown. Goldcorp Inc gained 2.2 percent to C$25.60 and Barrick Gold Corp added 1.7 percent to C$19.39. That sector has struggled recently - both those stocks are down more than 25 percent this year - leading to underperformance for the TSX versus U.S. and other indices. "Canada has been a big laggard over the last year," said Gavin Graham, chief strategy officer at Integris Pension Management Corp. "Some indications that the gold stocks will claw back some of their underperformance will help." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 51.66 points, or 0.39 percent, at 13,187.75 by mid-morning. The price of gold steadied in early trade after a sharp rally last week. The country's biggest lender, Royal Bank of Canada, gained 0.7 percent to C$70.01 after it said it plans to buy back as much as 2.1 percent of its stock. Major integrated energy company Suncor Energy rose 0.7 percent to C$37.99. Food processor Maple Leaf Foods jumped to C$14.71 as it looks to sell its controlling stake in Canada Bread Co to focus on its meat business. Canadian National Railway Co was one of the heaviest weights on the index. The railway said on Monday that a "controlled burn" of propane in derailed tank cars at Gainford, Alberta, began last night and continues this morning. Thirteen cars on a 134-car mixed freight CN train carrying liquefied petroleum gas and crude oil derailed on Oct. 19. One car of LPG exploded and three caught fire but none of the cars carrying crude oil had leaked or caught fire, CN said.
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