CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains for fourth day, lifted by China, U.S. data

Mon Dec 2, 2013 4:49pm EST
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* TSX rises 24.17 points, or 0.18 percent, to 13,419.57
    * Nine of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Talisman jumps after two Icahn nominees named to board
    * Gold-mining shares drop 4.9 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed
on Monday with bullish manufacturing data from China and the
United States driving gains in its energy and industrial
sectors, offsetting a sharp decline in the shares of gold
    Shares of Canadian banks also gained, lifted by expectations
of solid quarterly earnings reports this week.
    After a streak of five months of gains, the Toronto index
was up for a fourth straight session on Monday. 
    Data showed a gauge of U.S. factory activity reaching its
highest level in 2-1/2 years in November and construction
spending increasing solidly in October.
    In China, figures showed 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.
    "The Chinese data is moving slowly, but it's not stellar,"
said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth
Management. "You need three or four or six months of strong data
in the same direction to really say, 'This gives me
    Investors were looking ahead to more economic data this
week, including the influential monthly U.S. jobs report, which
tends to move markets. The market has been trying to draw a line
connecting economic data and a potential scaling-back, or
tapering, by the U.S. Federal Reserve of its stimulus program.
    "We think we've got some more to go before tapering comes
along," Mastracci said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed 24.17 points, or 0.18 percent, higher at
13,419.57. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers rose 0.6 percent, boosted by
higher oil prices. In the group, Suncor Energy Inc 
jumped 1.4 percent to C$36.93, and Canadian Natural Resources
Ltd climbed 0.8 percent to C$34.84.
    Talisman Energy Inc said it will appoint two board
members nominated by activist investor Carl Icahn as part of an
agreement with its second-biggest shareholder. The move sent
shares of the oil producer up 4.5 percent to C$12.99.
    The industrial sector, one of the strongest performers year
to date, climbed 1.7 percent. Canadian National Railway Co
, the country's largest rail operator, advanced 2.9
percent and had the biggest positive influence on the index.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia was up 0.2 percent, at
    Gold miners plunged 4.9 percent, recording the biggest
single-day decline in more than two months. The sector was
feeling the heat of a 2.6 percent drop in the price of the
precious metal.
    Goldcorp Inc gave back 3.9 percent to C$22.74, and
Barrick Gold Corp lost 6.1 percent to C$16.54.
    Sources told Reuters that Barrick was set to announce a
board shuffle and name a new chief operating officer.