TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose moderately on Monday, after touching a one-week high, as optimism over better-than-expected U.S. data was tempered by signs of economic weakness in Asia and evidence of a new recession in the euro zone.
The gain on the first day of the final quarter of 2012 comes after stocks notched a strong third quarter, helped by stimulative measures from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.
The TSX’s heavily weighted resource sectors were all higher on Monday as commodity prices climbed. Energy shares advanced 1.0 percent as U.S. crude oil reversed early losses while materials shares, including miners, were up 0.5 percent as the price of gold neared a one-year high. <GOL/>
“We saw three different data sets out of manufacturing today and they kind of paint two different stories,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner Investment Partners, part of Richardson GMP, in Vancouver.
He noted the market’s focus was shifting from central bank action to economic data and upcoming earnings reports for the third quarter.
Data showed U.S. manufacturing grew slightly last month for the first time since May, but euro zone factories suffered their worst quarter since early 2009, suggesting the region may struggle to avoid recession.
Factory activity in China also contracted, suggesting the world’s No. 2 economy lost momentum for a seventh consecutive quarter.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 52.73 points, or 0.4 percent, at 12,370.19. All 10 sectors were stronger, including financials, up 0.1 percent.
The TSX finished the third quarter up more than 6 percent on Friday, as energy companies and miners benefited from a strong showing in crude and bullion prices.
“It’s the start of the month so there’s money that needs to be employed,” said Francois Bourdon, associate chief investment officer at Fiera Capital Corp in Montreal.
In company news, Magna International Inc (MG.TO), one of the world’s biggest auto parts manufacturers, rose 1.8 percent to C$43.27 after it said it will buy Germany-based Ixetic for about 308 million euros to expand its engine and transmission pumps business.
Keyera Corp (KEY.TO) was up 1.8 percent to C$48.50 after announcing plans to invest C$210 million to boost recoveries of ethane and other high-margin natural gas liquids at the Rimbey gas plant in west central Alberta.
Agrium (AGU.TO) rose 1.7 percent to C$103.69. U.S. hedge fund Jana Partners said the Canadian fertilizer company’s share price could rise about $50, or 50 percent, if the company took steps to improve its business.
Editing by Leslie Adler