CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains for third day on energy shares, U.S. data
* TSX rises 93.40 points, or 0.69 percent, to 13,653.13 * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance * CN Rail edges up after union deal * BCE climbs after quarterly report By John Tilak TORONTO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Thursday for a third straight session as higher oil prices buoyed energy shares and upbeat U.S. economic data lifted broader sentiment. A positive quarterly report from BCE Inc provided further support and boosted shares of the telecoms company. The market appeared to show signs of stabilizing after several days of choppy trading due to concerns about emerging markets and worries about global growth. The CBOE Volatility index VIX, sometimes called Wall Street's fear gauge, slipped after shooting up on Monday, when U.S. equity markets dropped and the Toronto market shed more than 200 points to hit a one-month low. A report showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, following a wave of mixed economic data that had increased investor doubts about the U.S. economic recovery. "People are a little more optimistic. We've had one or two days of stability now," said John Stephenson, senior vice president and portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management. "The market is focused on what it should be focused on, which is fundamentals and earnings," he added. "In spite of all these worries, we've got good earnings, and that's a very positive story." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 93.40 points, or 0.69 percent, at 13,653.13. The benchmark Canadian index also moved back to positive territory for the year. "The TSX will do fairly well (in 2014). Will it be up as much as the S&P 500? No," said Stephenson, who sees the index returning about 9 percent this year. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Thursday. The energy sector jumped 1 percent. Suncor Energy Inc shares added 1.4 percent to C$35.70, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 1 percent to C$38.01. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were up 0.9 percent. Royal Bank of Canada advanced 1 percent to C$69.74. In corporate news, Canadian National Railway Co reached a deal late on Wednesday to avert a strike by conductors and yard workers after the Conservative government said it would use back-to-work legislation to keep the railway operating. CN Rail's stock gained 0.2 percent to C$59.57. BCE shares rose 1.1 percent, to C$45.87, after the company posted a 17 percent rise in adjusted quarterly profit and raised its dividend.
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