CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on resource price gains, U.S. retail data

Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:14pm EDT
 
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* TSX rises 26.74 points, or 0.19 pct, to 14,284.43
    * Five of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * U.S. data strong; Ukraine worries bolster resources

 (Adds comments from analyst and updates figures to the market
close)
    By Cameron French
    TORONTO, April 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
rebounded from last week's weakness  and advanced on Monday as
resource prices rose on concerns about instability in Ukraine,
while data showed a rebound U.S. retail sales in March.
    Five of the 10 main sectors on the Toronto stock market's
benchmark index were higher after the index fell to its lowest
level in two weeks on Friday on worries about valuations in the
U.S. technology sector.
    "It's certainly a bounceback after you had such sloppy
markets, in particular the U.S. tech and biotech (groups)," said
Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Asset Management.
    "Today we're getting a little bit better tone and the data
has been supportive."
    U.S. retail sales recorded their largest gain in 1-1/2 years
in March, data showed, signaling the U.S. economy is rebounding
from a weather-induced slumber. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 26.74 points, or 0.19 percent, at 14,284.43.
    Resource groups led the way as investors embraced safe haven
investments as growing violence between pro-Russian separatists
and Ukrainian government forces raised fears that the Ukraine
crisis might be spiraling out of control. 
    Gold prices hit a three-week high, sparking the mining-heavy
TSX materials index to a 1.0 percent gain.
    Iamgold Corp jumped 3.4 percent to C$3.98, while
Barrick Gold Corp advanced 0.9 percent to C$20.63.
Leading the group was nickel miner Sherritt International
, which jumped 9.3 percent to C$4.70, helped by nickel
prices that hit a 14-month high. 
    Energy shares rose 0.4 percent, with higher oil prices
driving the gains. Paramount Resources climbed 3.1
percent C$54.81, while Encana Corp rose 0.5 percent to
C$24.78.
    In corporate news, residents of the British Columbia town of
Kitimat voted this weekend against the proposed Northern Gateway
pipeline project in a blow to Enbridge Inc's efforts to
expedite the flow of crude from Canada's oil sands to markets in
Asia. Enbridge shares gave back 0.8 percent to C$50.76.
 
    Global stock markets have been highly volatile in recent
weeks over concerns about stretched valuations and the direction
of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy.
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index, which lost about
1 percent last week, is up about 5 percent this year, and has
outperformed the S&P 500 index so far in 2014.
    "The overall sentiment is cautious," said Irwin Michael,
portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "But we think stocks are good
value, and we believe that the various stock indices will end
the year higher than where they are today."
    He said he expected the Canadian index to outpace the U.S.
market as the country's proportionally large resource sector
strengthens.
    ($1=$1.10 Canadian)

 (Additional reporting by John Tilak; editing by Peter Galloway)