CANADA STOCKS-TSX nears seven-week high as miners, TransCanada advance

Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:50pm EST
 
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* TSX up 39.40 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,882.50
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * TransCanada climbs 1.4 percent on news of activist
interest

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
reached its highest in nearly 7 weeks on Monday as gains in
shares of gold miners and TransCanada Corp helped
offset concerns about Japan falling into a recession.
    Japan's gross domestic product shrank by an annualized 1.6
percent in the July-September quarter, after diving 7.3 percent
in the second quarter following a rise in the national sales
tax. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark TSX index extended
gains after last week's fifth-straight weekly advance. It is up
about 9 percent since dropping to an eight-month low in October.
    "The market has shrugged off what is largely seen as a
Japanese domestic issue, caused by a fiscal tightening through
the consumption tax that weighed on the Japanese economy but is
not necessarily a global phenomenon," said Stephen Lingard,
portfolio manager, Franklin Templeton Solutions at Franklin
Templeton Investments.
    "Our expectation is that volatility is going to be higher
than lower (over the next few months)," he said.
    "We don't think the fundamentals are necessarily that great
for Canadian stocks, but you could see an oversold bounce if
resources get some life," added Lingard, who is bullish about
U.S. equities.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 39.40 points, or 0.27 percent, at 14,882.50.
Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. 
    Gold-mining shares jumped 1.8 percent. Barrick Gold Corp
 added 1.7 percent at C$14.07.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed, with Toronto-Dominion Bank rising 0.3 percent
to C$57.23 and Bank of Nova Scotia gaining 0.2 percent
to C$68.77.
    Shares of oil and gas producers slipped as oil prices
dropped. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 1.3
percent to C$40.14, and Suncor Energy Inc shed 1 percent
to C$39.19.
    In corporate news, a small New York-based activist hedge
fund said it is urging pipeline operator TransCanada Corp
 to overhaul its business, including breaking up the
company to unlock higher share values. TransCanada's stock
climbed 1.4 percent to C$56.57. 
    ($1=$1.13 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway and Meredith Mazzilli)