CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises on strength in U.S. data; Cameco shares jump
* TSX rises 34.33 points, or 0.24 percent, to 14,223.31 * Seven of 10 main index sectors advance * Cameco, Paladin Energy jump after Japanese policy shift * RBC little changed after quarterly report By John Tilak TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Wednesday, supported by positive U.S. economic data and a jump in Cameco Corp shares as the uranium miner looked to benefit from a favorable shift in Japanese nuclear policy. Investors were encouraged by data showing that sales of new U.S. single-family homes hit a 5-1/2-year high in January. The market's focus also rested on Royal Bank of Canada , which reported a 2 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating market estimates, and raised its dividend by 6 percent. The stock was little changed. The results from the country's biggest lender followed quarterly reports from Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada earlier this week. "We're starting to see moderation in the bank earnings," said Michael Newton, a director of wealth management and portfolio manager at ScotiaMcLeod who owns shares of RBC. "Don't expect any fireworks from the banks," he added "They're not as robust as they have been and we're starting to see some headwinds, but they're still solid." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 34.33 points, or 0.24 percent, at 14,223.31. The benchmark Canadian index is up about 4.4 percent this year. "Individuals are realizing that they are underinvested in equities as an allocation," Newton said. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Wednesday. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.2 percent. BMO rose 0.7 percent to C$73.17. Shares of energy companies gave back 0.3 percent. Suncor Energy Inc slipped 0.5 percent to C$36.72, and Encana Corp lost 1 percent to C$20.95. But Cameco jumped 4.8 percent to C$26.64. Analysts have said uranium miners are benefiting from a shift in Japanese policy that supports a return of nuclear power to the country's energy mix. Shares of Paladin Energy, another uranium miner, shot up 13.4 percent to 55 Canadian cents.
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