May 25, 2012 / 12:45 PM / 5 years ago

TSX keeps rally alive on gold miners

* TSX ends up 10.40 pts, or 0.1 pct, at 11,576.47

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

* Energy, gold miners lead gains

* Financial shares fall on Spain, Greek worries

By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks finished in positive territory for the fourth-straight session on Friday, as gains in resource shares offset financial sector losses on fears of a Greek exit from the euro zone and Spanish debt problems.

Seven of Canada’s 10 main sectors were higher, fueled by resources gains as gold and oil prices rebounded from lows earlier in the week. <O/R> <GOL/>

Heavily-weighted materials group, which includes gold miners, rose 0.8 percent and the energy sector climbed 0.9 percent.

The most influential gainers included Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), up 1.8 percent to C$41.24, Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), which climbed 3.2 percent to C$15.30, Goldcorp Inc (G.TO), up 1.2 percent to C$38.84, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), up 1.3 percent at C$28.87, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), which gained 0.9 percent to C$31.70, and Encana Corp (ECA.TO), finishing 1.6 percent higher at C$21.14.

“The market is oversold enough that you could see a summer rally,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.

Hand added that thin trade ahead of the U.S. holiday long weekend may have exaggerated moves.

“There is a tendency statistically for markets to close up on the Fridays before long weekends in the U.S. and that may keep us buoyant a little bit,” he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 10.40 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,576.47. It ended the week up 2.6 percent, its first weekly gain this month.

However the rally could be fleeting with euro zone jitters still weighing on markets. On Friday, a plea from Spain’s wealthiest autonomous region, Catalonia, for help from the central government to refinance its debt this year was the latest news to hit the euro, which was on track for its worst weekly showing in five months.

“Europe has been in the headlines for such a long time that we’re just getting desensitized,” said Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities in Vancouver.

Worries were compounded after Belgium’s deputy prime minister, Didier Reynders, issued a warning over Greece, saying it would be a “grave professional error” if central banks and companies were not preparing for a Greek exit from the euro zone.

Greek fears and mixed second-quarter earnings results from Canada’s top banks sent financial issues down 1 percent.

Shares of Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) tumbled for the second straight day, falling 2 percent to C$50.35. Canada’s largest bank has shed almost 5 percent since it reported a 7 percent decline in quarterly earnings on Thursday.

Not even a good earnings result spared Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Canada’s No. 2 bank, whose shares slid 1 percent to C$78.22 a day after it reported a 20 percent rise in quarterly profit.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), which reports earnings next week, fell 0.9 percent to C$50.95.

All of Canada’s top six banks’ share prices are now trading below year-ago levels as the earnings growth environment has cooled.

Mady said the downtrend could continue over the next quarter.

“Heading into the summer, with negative seasonality, the path of least resistance is down.”

$1=$1.03 Canadian dollars

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