CANADA STOCKS-Telecoms surge helps drive TSX to three-month high
* TSX rises 117.35 points, or 0.93 percent, to 12,771.25 * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance * Telecoms shares have biggest positive influence on market By John Tilak TORONTO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit its highest in three months on Tuesday after positive data suggested a global economic recovery was taking hold and news of Verizon Communications Inc not entering Canada pushed up telecoms shares. Verizon's chief executive said in an interview the U.S. company is not planning to enter the Canadian wireless market. The country's three biggest wireless companies, which had sold off earlier this year on fears of Verizon's entry, rebounded to have the biggest positive influence on the market. Figures released on Tuesday showed demand picked up in the U.S. manufacturing sector in August and Chinese domestic demand helped the services sector grow steadily in August. "We like what we see. Things are starting to look better," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "The numbers that are coming out are telling us that the economy is starting to firm up." Investors also assessed news that Obama has asked lawmakers to back military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, likely delaying any immediate military action. "Syria is less of an issue right now as Obama has backed off, and there is a chance that no one goes into Syria," Michael said. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 117.35 points, or 0.93 percent, at 12,771.25, after reaching the 12,828.13, its highest since May 22. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, jumped 1.5 percent. Teck Resources Ltd was up 3.5 percent C$27.45, and Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.6 percent to C$20.63. Boosted by gains in the price of oil, shares of energy companies climbed 0.7 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd added 1.6 percent to C$32.64, and Suncor Energy Inc rose 1.4 percent to C$36. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose 0.5 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank gained 0.8 percent to C$90.29 and Bank of Montreal advanced 1.1 percent to C$66.83. Telecoms stocks soared 4.5 percent and posted the biggest gain of any major sector by far. Telus Corp added 7.2 percent to C$34.65, Rogers Communications jumped 6.8 percent to C$44.43, and BCE Inc rose 3.5 percent to C$44.69.
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