CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances as Ukraine tensions cool
* TSX up 77.88 points, or 0.52 percent, at 15,196.31 * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance * Avigilon tumbles after quarterly report * Tekmira surges on regulatory clearance for drug By John Tilak TORONTO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Friday after Russia said it had ended military exercises near the Ukraine border, a move that was seen as a step away from the brink in the Ukraine crisis, lifting investor sentiment. The United States had criticized the Russian exercises as "provocative". Investors were also encouraged by data showing that China's exports pushed its trade surplus to a record high in July. The benchmark TSX is up about 12 percent since the start of the year, though the market has been volatile in the past week over concerns about Ukraine, Israel and Iraq. "You might get a pullback, but generally the stock market can continue to do well. I think (it) has a lot of room to go higher," said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management. Harris said he is bullish about the financial, energy and consumer discretionary sectors. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 77.88 points, or 0.52 percent, at 15,196.31. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, fell 0.3 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia shed 0.9 percent to C$71.55, and Toronto-Dominion Bank lost 0.6 percent to C$55.59. Shares of energy producers were up 1.7 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rising 2.9 percent to C$46.10, and Talisman Energy Inc jumping 3.1 percent to C$11.70. The gold-mining sector climbed in choppy trade. Barrick Gold Corp gained 1.6 percent to C$20.51. In corporate news, shares of Avigilon Corp tumbled 11.3 percent to C$22.07 after the maker of video surveillance cameras reported quarterly results late on Thursday. Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp jumped 47.3 percent to C$23 after U.S. regulators partially lifted their hold on the company's experimental Ebola drug, which might be a move toward letting it be used on humans infected with the Ebola virus. ($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Editing by Tom Brown; and Peter Galloway)
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