CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on U.S. data; BlackBerry jumps

Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:48pm EST
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* TSX rises 7.40 points, or 0.06 percent, to 13,399.60
    * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * BlackBerry jumps on handset deal
    * Enbridge steady after regulator urges pipeline approval

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged
higher on Friday, lifted by U.S. economic data and encouraged by
the U.S. Federal Reserve's assurance this week that its monetary
policy will stay easy despite a pullback of its bond-buying
    Providing further lift was a jump in shares of BlackBerry
Ltd after the company reported a massive quarterly loss
but said it was entering a handset production deal that lowers
the risk it will have to take more large writedowns on unsold
    The Fed on Wednesday cut the pace of its monthly asset
purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion, signaling its
confidence in the U.S. economic recovery, and vowed to keep
interest rates lower for a longer period. 
    The world's biggest economy grew at its fastest pace in
almost two years in the third quarter and business spending was
stronger than previously estimated, according to U.S. Commerce
Department figures on Friday. 
    "It shows the Fed's decision to commence tapering in
favorable light," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global
Securities in Vancouver, of the economic data. "The uncertainty
about tapering has been erased from the market. 
    "The longer the global rally continues, the better the
prospects become for the TSX."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 7.40 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,399.60,
after rising as high as 13,504.33, its highest level since Nov.
    The Canadian benchmark index is up about 7.7 percent this
year, lagging its U.S. peers.
    Picardo said that 2014 could well be the year when risk
appetite returns to the export-driven Canadian market.
    "All indications are that the global economy will fire on
all cylinders," he said. "If that happens, the TSX is the
perfect proxy to take advantage of that."
    Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, added
0.5 percent. In the group,  Barrick Gold Corp advanced
0.9 percent to C$17.84, and Goldcorp Inc rose 0.5 percent
to C$22.34.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed slightly. Bank of Nova Scotia was up 0.9
percent at C$64.75 and had the biggest positive influence on the
    In other corporate news, Canadian regulators urged the
government on Thursday to approve Enbridge's Northern Gateway
pipeline plan, saying it would pose little risk to the
environment if the company complied with a long list of
conditions. Enbridge's stock was steady at C$45.35.
    Shares of BlackBerry shot up 16 percent to C$7.74, driving
the information technology sector up 2.2 percent.