CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on U.S. data, BlackBerry

Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:32am EDT
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* TSX rises 36.24 points, or 0.28 percent, to 12,872.95
    * Nine of 10 main sectors advance
    * Canadian Natural has biggest positive influence on market
    * BlackBerry gains 1.3 percent, after an initial decline

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Thursday as positive U.S. economic data outweighed
concerns about the debt crisis in Washington and the future of a
BlackBerry takeover deal.
    Data showing the number of Americans filing new claims for
jobless benefits dropped last week to a near six-year low and
injected optimism into the market.
    The market tried to digest news of BlackBerry's $4.7 billion
agreement with Fairfax Financial and come to terms with
the deal's funding challenges. Volatile shares of the smartphone
maker dropped in early trade before gaining 1.3 percent.
    Investors kept a close watch on debt negotiations in
Washington but appeared to brush aside fears of any potential
impact, with attention also drifting away from the U.S. Federal
Reserve's monetary policy.
     "We've been through this too many times that people are
saying, 'there's going to be some posturing, there's going to be
some cliffhanging, but it doesn't mean much as there's no way
they're not going to increase the debt ceiling'," said David
Cockfield, a portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 36.24 points, or 0.28 percent, at 12,872.95.
    Sentiment for Canadian equities has been recovering after a
sluggish first half of 2013. The TSX has gained 9.5 percent
since hitting a low in June.
    The benchmark Canadian index has outperformed the S&P 500
 in the quarter to date, climbing nearly 6 percent.
    "The U.S. market certainly looks more overpriced than the
Canadian market," Cockfield said. "The Canadian multiples have
come down to reasonable levels."
    "People are recognizing that you can make money in Canada as
well," he added.
    The TSX is trading at a price to earnings multiple of 15.67,
compared with the S&P 500's 17.39, according to Thomson Reuters
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
    Shares of energy companies advanced 0.7 percent, benefiting
from higher oil prices.
    Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 1.2 percent to
C$32.82 and had the biggest positive influence on the market;
Suncor Energy Inc was up 0.4 percent, at C$37.25.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gained
0.4 percent.
    Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender,
climbed 0.3 percent to C$66.52, and Bank of Nova Scotia 
moved up 0.2 percent to C$59.76.
    Shares of BlackBerry were trading at C$8.35, helping lift
the information technology group.