CANADA STOCKS-Energy, bank shares boost TSX; Loblaw, Metro slip

Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:31pm EST
 
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* TSX rises 44.62 points, or 0.33 percent, to 13,370.66
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Loblaw, Metro fall after quarterly earnings drop

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Wednesday as gains in the energy and financial sectors offset
a selloff in shares of grocers Loblaw Cos Ltd and Metro
Inc spurred by lackluster earnings reports. 
    Investors also speculated about the outlook for the U.S.
Federal Reserve's stimulus program, with the market looking
ahead to Thursday, when Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen is expected
to be nominated at a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing to
replace Ben Bernanke at the helm of the central bank.
    "People are looking at how long it will take for the Fed to
change its taper policy," said Subodh Kumar, the chief
investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates.
    "Markets will be range-bound here," he added. "Markets are
moving back and forth depending on how much clarity there is (on
the Fed policy)."
    Kumar, who expects the benchmark Canadian index to climbed
to 13,500 by the end of the year, sees more volatility in the
near term.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 44.62 points, or 0.33 percent, at 13,370.66.
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Energy shares climbed 0.9 percent as oil prices rose. 
Suncor Energy Inc jumped 2 percent to C$37.23, and
Talisman Energy Inc advanced 0.2 percent to C$12.59.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.7 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada rising 1.7
percent to C$71.06 and Toronto Dominion Bank climbing
0.4 percent to C$96.69.
    But the consumer staples group gave back 2.7 percent. 
    Loblaw shed 7.6 percent to C$44.23 after it reported a 29
percent drop in quarterly profit, hurt by a later Thanksgiving
holiday and a decline in sales at its drugstores.
 
    Metro lost 5.7 percent to C$62 after reporting a
larger-than-expected 40 percent drop in quarterly profit as
expanding U.S. retailers provided "intense competition" in its
home market.