CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs, led by bank and insurance stocks

Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:31pm EDT
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* TSX up 63.51 points, or 0.42 percent, at 15,094.25
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Empire jumps after brokerage upgrade

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 27 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Friday as gains in shares of banks and insurers helped
overcome concerns about sluggish economic data.
    Also providing support, Empire Company Ltd,
operator of the Canadian grocery chain Sobeys Inc, jumped 4.6
percent, to C$70.82, after a brokerage upgraded the stock.
    Data on Friday showed Canadian industrial product prices
unexpectedly fell in May, due largely to cheaper energy and a
stronger currency. 
    Investors also paid attention to Iraq and Ukraine, which
remain volatile but show signs of stabilization. The price of
U.S. crude oil slipped.  
    The Toronto market has gained nearly 11 percent since the
start of the year, and investors are looking to see if there are
enough catalysts that could push the market higher. 
    "We expect the market to be extremely volatile, but we
believe the trend is still upwards," said Irwin Michael,
portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "We expect to see the Canadian
stock market to close the year higher than where it is today."  
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 63.51 points, or 0.42 percent, at 15,094.25.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada advanced 0.9 percent
to C$76.03, and Bank of Montreal added 0.9 percent to
    Insurer Manulife Financial Corp was up 0.4 percent
to C$21.21.
    Shares of energy producers edged higher, with Suncor Energy
Inc climbing 0.5 percent to C$45.61 and Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd gaining 0.7 percent to C$48.85.

 (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler)