CANADA STOCKS-Banks, industrials boost TSX as focus stays on Fed

Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:59pm EDT
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* TSX rises 37.71 points, or 0.29 percent, to 12,848.89
    * Nine of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * TD Bank has biggest positive influence on index
    * BlackBerry slips a day after news of takeover deal

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on Tuesday as gains in the financial and industrial
sectors drove the market, with investors remaining fixated on
the direction of U.S. Federal Reserve policy.
    With focus firmly on conjecture about what the Fed may have
in mind for its stimulus program, the market combed economic
data for hints on the U.S. central bank's next move.
    Among the data, a private sector report said U.S. consumer
confidence slipped in September as consumers' outlook on the
future darkened a little, while U.S. home prices slowed their
rate of gains in July. 
    But German business morale improved slightly to its highest
level in 17 months in September, suggesting Europe's largest
economy is staging a firm recovery. 
    The financial sector had the biggest positive influence on
the index. The group is up 11 percent this year, compared with
the benchmark index's 3 percent gain.
    "Banks are leading the charge," said Allan Small, senior
investment advisor at Dundee Wealth, adding the banking sector
is "a very good growth and income play". 
    "A lot of people are flocking to it," he added. "If the
banks continue to do what they are doing, they make up enough of
our market to power the TSX."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 37.71 points, or 0.29 percent, at 12,848.89.
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.4 percent. In the group, Toronto-Dominion Bank gained
0.7 percent to C$92.03 and played the biggest role of any single
stock in leading the index higher. Royal Bank of Canada 
added 0.4 percent to C$66.55. 
    The industrials group climbed 0.6 percent. In it, Canadian
Pacific Railway Ltd was up 0.8 percent at C$130.21, and
Bombardier Inc advanced 1.3 percent to C$4.87.
    Shares of BlackBerry dropped 3.3 percent to C$8.78,
a day after the smartphone maker signed a tentative $4.7 billion
deal to be acquired by a consortium led by its biggest
shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.
    Fairfax shares were little changed.