CANADA STOCKS-U.S. data, stimulus comments push TSX higher

Tue May 28, 2013 5:04pm EDT
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* TSX rises 54.15 points, or 0.43 percent, to 12,750.52
    * Scotiabank little changed after results
    * Gold shares fall after bullion price decline

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Tuesday, led by the energy and financial sectors, as
investors were encouraged by positive U.S. economic data and
signs of support for stimulus programs from the Japanese and
European central banks. 
    The gains were capped by a decline in shares of gold
producers after the price of bullion tumbled on the upbeat
economic news. 
    Data on Tuesday showed U.S. home prices accelerated by the
most in nearly seven years in March as the spring buying season
helped, while surging consumer confidence pointed to some
resilience for the economic recovery. 
    The resource-heavy Toronto market has gained about 7 percent
since hitting a low last month.
    "From a short-term perspective, it looks like a pretty
strong rally which might be poised for a pullback," said Elvis
Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global
Securities in Vancouver.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 54.15 points, or 0.43 percent, at 12,750.52.
    A board member of the European Central Bank said the ECB can
still cut interest rates further to stimulate the economy if
needed, while an official of the Bank of Japan said it was vital
to keep long- and short-term interest rates stable.
    "The market is betting that the stimulus won't be removed
for some time yet," said Fergal Smith, managing market
strategist at Action Economics.
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    A surge in oil prices, supported by rising Middle East risk
and positive investor sentiment, helped energy shares gain 0.9
    Financials, the index's most heavily-weighted sector, added
0.8 percent.
    Royal Bank of Canada climbed 1.3 percent to C$64.10
and played the biggest role of any single stock in leading the
market higher.
    Scotiabank's second-quarter profit rose 9.6 percent
due largely to an acquisition, but missed estimates due to
weaker commodities-related revenue and higher loan-loss
provisions. The stock was little changed. 
    The lender's results follow reports from Toronto Dominion
Bank and National Bank of Canada 
    "The bank numbers seem to confirm that the Canadian economy
is slowing down but not going to be an outright disaster,"
Picardo said.
   The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was down
0.4 percent after shares of gold miners lost 0.7 percent.
    Goldcorp Inc fell 1.2 percent to C$27.57, and Barrick
Gold Corp slipped 0.9 percent to C$19.88.