CANADA STOCKS-Bank, energy shares push TSX higher; Barrick drops
* TSX rises 21.81 points, or 0.15 percent, to 14,555.38 * Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance * Barrick drops 2 percent after Newmont ends merger talks By John Tilak TORONTO, April 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged higher on Monday as gains in financial and energy shares provided support, offsetting a drop in shares of Barrick Gold Corp after the miner said merger talks with Newmont Mining had been terminated. Newmont said it had ended the discussions with Barrick, criticizing its suitor and stating the talks failed due to a lack of a constructive, mutually respectful dialogue. Investors appeared to be shrugging off a move by the United States to freeze assets and impose visa bans on seven powerful Russians close to President Vladimir Putin and, as well as to sanction 17 companies in reprisal for Moscow's actions in Ukraine. The Toronto stock market's benchmark index is up nearly 7 percent this year, buoyed by strengthening commodity prices and a rebound in shares of natural resource producers. "With the exception of the Ukraine situation stirring up in the periphery, things look okay," said David Cockfield, a portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. "The sky is relatively clear of dark clouds. In that kind of environment, you'll see equity markets continue to move ahead." Cockfield predicts that the Canadian index will outperform the S&P 500 in 2014. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 21.81 points, or 0.15 percent, at 14,555.38. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Shares of energy producers rose 0.3 percent. Encana Corp climbed 1 percent to C$25.25, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd advanced 0.3 percent to C$44.78. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose slightly. Bank of Nova Scotia was up 0.3 percent at C$65.62. Barrick shares fell 2 percent to C$19.35 and had the biggest negative influence on the index. ($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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