CANADA STOCKS-China factory data nudges TSX higher

Mon Dec 2, 2013 11:05am EST
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* TSX rises 21.87 points, or 0.16 percent, to 13,417.27
    * Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Talisman jumps after two Icahn nominees named to board
    * Gold-mining shares drop 1.3 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
moderately higher on Monday as bullish manufacturing data from
China pushed up shares of energy companies, offsetting a decline
in gold miners after the bullion price tumbled.
    Shares of Canadian banks gained as well on expectations of
solid quarterly earnings reports this week.
    Data showed China's factory growth at an 18-month high in
November as domestic and foreign demand strengthened. Canada's
export-oriented economy stands to gain from production increases
in China, a major consumer of commodities. 
    After a streak of five months of gains, the Toronto index
was up for a fourth straight session on Monday. 
    "We're looking at nice numbers coming out of China, and
that's helping support the global demand picture," said Karl
Schamotta, director of FX strategy and structured products at
Cambridge Mercantile Group.
    Investors were looking ahead to a slew of economic data this
week, including U.S. manufacturing numbers and the influential
U.S. jobs report. The market has been trying to draw a line
connecting economic data and potential central bank moves.
    "You've got some caution in there from the trading
perspective, with many people positioning for a lower number
than we saw in October," Schamotta said of the U.S. nonfarm
payrolls report. But he expects a weak performance to boost
stocks as it could push back any scaling-back of the U.S.
Federal Reserve's stimulus program. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 21.87 points, or 0.16 percent, at 13,417.27.
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers rose 1 percent, boosted by higher
oil prices. Suncor Energy Inc jumped 1.8 percent to
C$37.09, and had the biggest positive influence on the index.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 1.7 percent to
    Talisman Energy Inc said it will appoint two
nominees of activist investor Carl Icahn to its board as part of
an agreement with its second-biggest shareholder. The move sent
shares of the oil producer up 3.9 percent to C$12.91.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest
lender, was up 0.2 percent, at C$70.56.
    Gold miners stumbled 1.3 percent, feeling the heat of a 2.4
percent drop in the price of the precious metal.
Goldcorp Inc gave back 2.3 percent to C$23.11, and
Barrick Gold Corp lost 3 percent to C$17.08.
    Sources told Reuters that Barrick was set to announce a
board shuffle and name a new chief operating officer.