CANADA STOCKS-Gold miners push TSX to one-week high as bullion jumps

Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:45pm EDT
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* TSX rises 87.95 points, or 0.69 percent, to 12,762.30
    * All of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Index posts weekly gain
    * 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
touched a one-week high on Friday as sluggish U.S. economic data
renewed hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve might delay winding
down its stimulus program, lifting bullion prices and shares of
gold miners.
    The rise on the benchmark Toronto index outpaced that on the
S&P 500 as the index maintained its lead over its U.S.
counterpart in August to date. 
    After a wave of positive global data cheered investors
earlier this week, figures released on Friday showed sales of
new single-family homes in the United States slumped in July to
their lowest level in nine months. 
    That spurred the market to bet that a Fed stimulus pullback
might come later and not sooner, pushing oil prices higher and
bullion to jump 1.6 percent to hit its highest level in more
than two months.  
    "There is a reappraisal about whether the Fed will proceed
with the September taper," said Fergal Smith, managing market
strategist at Action Economics. "That's proved to be quite
supportive for commodities."
    However, he cautioned that "the change in Fed policy and the
impact on the market is a big unknown," and "carries a risk for
commodities markets".
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 87.95 points, or 0.69 percent, at 12,762.30,
after rising as high as 12,776.14, its highest level since Aug.
16. It also ended the week higher.
    All of the 10 main sectors on the index advanced.    
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada climbed 1 percent to
C$65.12, and Toronto-Dominion Bank added 1 percent
    Energy shares were up 0.7 percent. Suncor Energy Inc 
jumped 1.9 percent to C$36.06 and had the biggest positive
influence on the index for a second straight day.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained
1.6 percent, with gold producers climbing 2.6 percent. Goldcorp
Inc rose 1.9 percent to C$32.60, and Barrick Gold Corp
 advanced 2.6 percent to C$21.11.
    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 7.8 percent to C$14.44.