CANADA STOCKS-Economic optimism returns, lifts TSX to one-week high

Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:12am EDT
 
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* TSX rises 93.53 points, or 0.74 percent, to 12,767.88
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Suncor has biggest positive influence on market
    * Maple Leaf Foods jumps after move to sell biodiesel unit

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit a
one-week high on Friday after positive economic data buoyed
commodity prices and lifted hopes for a stable global recovery,
fueling gains in every major sector. 
    The Toronto market strongly outpaced the S&P 500 and
maintained a lead over its U.S. counterpart in August to date.
    The mood was somewhat tempered by figures showing sales of
new single-family homes in the United States slumped in July to
their lowest level in nine months. 
    Investors were encouraged by data showing the strongest
quarterly expansion of the German economy in more than a year
between April and June. 
    The numbers, which followed a wave of bullish data from
around the world earlier in the week, strengthened the thesis
that global growth was starting to gain momentum and took some
of the focus away from the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary
strategy.
    "The recovery is on track," said Irwin Michael, portfolio
manager at ABC Funds. "It looks like the worldwide economies are
moving along at a slow pace, but at a positive pace." 
    "We think the Canadian market is cheap relative to the
United States," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 93.53 points, or 0.74 percent, at 12,767.88,
its highest level since August 16.
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.    
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.6 percent. 
    Royal Bank of Canada climbed 0.9 percent to C$65.04,
and Toronto Dominion Bank added 1 percent C$88.85.
    Energy shares were up 0.8 percent. Suncor Energy Inc 
jumped 2.2 percent to C$36.14 and had the biggest positive
influence on the market for a second straight day.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained 2
percent, with gold producers climbing almost 3 percent.
    Goldcorp Inc rose 3 percent to C$32.93, and Barrick
Gold Corp advanced 2.7 percent to C$21.13.
    In company news, Maple Leaf Foods said it will sell
its rendering and biodiesel business to Darling International
Inc for about C$645 million ($613.6 million) in cash.
Maple Leaf shares soared 9.3 percent to C$14.63.