CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as banks climb; eyes on Iraq, Fed

Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:52am EDT
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* TSX up 16.84 points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,057.27
    * Six of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Energy shares slip with U.S. crude oil price

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Tuesday as a gain in financial shares helped overcome worries
about the volatile situation in Iraq and nervousness about the
outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
    In Iraq, Shi'ite rulers defied Western calls to reach out to
Sunnis to defuse the uprising in the north of the country,
declaring a boycott of Iraq's main Sunni political bloc and
accusing Sunni power Saudi Arabia of promoting "genocide".
    Investors have been speculating whether the Fed will
accelerate the pace of withdrawal from its stimulus program and
when the U.S. central bank might increase interest rates.
    "I think the Fed is going to stay put," said David
Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland
Wealth Management.
    "I expect they don't want to do anything that would get the
markets running in one direction or the other," he added. 
    The Toronto market has climbed 12 of the last 13 sessions.
It is up more than 10 percent this year and has gained more than
most other major stock indexes.
    "I've been surprised at how strong the market has been,"
Cockfield said. "I'd be quite happy if the market went sideways
from here."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 16.84 points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,057.27.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed 0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada added 0.4
percent to C$75.42, and Toronto Dominion Bank advanced
0.3 percent to C$54.47.
    Shares of energy producers gave back 0.3 percent, reflecting
weakness in the price of U.S. crude oil. Suncor Energy
Inc lost 0.5 percent to C$46.51, and Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd slipped 0.8 percent to C$47.33.