TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index climbed on Monday with bullish manufacturing data from China and the United States driving gains in its energy and industrial sectors, offsetting a sharp decline in the shares of gold miners.
Shares of Canadian banks also gained, lifted by expectations of solid quarterly earnings reports this week.
After a streak of five months of gains, the Toronto index was up for a fourth straight session on Monday.
Data showed a gauge of U.S. factory activity reaching its highest level in 2-1/2 years in November and construction spending increasing solidly in October.
In China, figures showed factory growth at an 18-month high in November as domestic and foreign demand strengthened. Canada’s export-oriented economy stands to gain from production increases in China, a major consumer of commodities.
“The Chinese data is moving slowly, but it’s not stellar,” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management. “You need three or four or six months of strong data in the same direction to really say, ‘This gives me confidence’.”
Investors were looking ahead to more economic data this week, including the influential monthly U.S. jobs report, which tends to move markets. The market has been trying to draw a line connecting economic data and a potential scaling-back, or tapering, by the U.S. Federal Reserve of its stimulus program.
“We think we’ve got some more to go before tapering comes along,” Mastracci said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 24.17 points, or 0.18 percent, higher at 13,419.57. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Shares of energy producers rose 0.6 percent, boosted by higher oil prices. In the group, Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO jumped 1.4 percent to C$36.93, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO climbed 0.8 percent to C$34.84.
Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO said it will appoint two board members nominated by activist investor Carl Icahn as part of an agreement with its second-biggest shareholder. The move sent shares of the oil producer up 4.5 percent to C$12.99.
The industrial sector, one of the strongest performers year to date, climbed 1.7 percent. Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TO, the country’s largest rail operator, advanced 2.9 percent and had the biggest positive influence on the index.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, added 0.3 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO was up 0.2 percent, at C$65.35.
Gold miners plunged 4.9 percent, recording the biggest single-day decline in more than two months. The sector was feeling the heat of a 2.6 percent drop in the price of the precious metal.
Goldcorp Inc G.TO gave back 3.9 percent to C$22.74, and Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO lost 6.1 percent to C$16.54.
Sources told Reuters that Barrick was set to announce a board shuffle and name a new chief operating officer.
Editing by Peter Galloway