November 1, 2012 / 6:59 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as firm data outweighs Barrick's slide

* TSX rises 72.76 points, or 0.59 percent, to 12,495.67
    * Hits six-week high after positive U.S. data
    * Energy, financials stocks lead market higher
    * Barrick Gold biggest drag; shares down 9 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit a
six-week high on Thursday, driven by positive economic data from
the United States and China, which more than offset
disappointing results from mining giants Barrick Gold Corp
 and Cameco Corp.
    U.S. data showed consumer confidence climbed to a more than
four-year high in October and the pace of growth in
manufacturing picked up modestly. The numbers pushed U.S. stock
markets up sharply.  
    Official and private sector factory surveys signaled China's
economy was regaining some traction, although the recovery is
expected to be sluggish. 
    "We've started the month off with a swath of economic data
from across the world. The common theme is that the global
economy is seeing stabilization," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio
manager with Stenner Investment Partners, a unit of Richardson
    "In some instances, in China and the U.S., the data was
better-than-expected. That's helping drive the market," he
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX composite
index was up 72.76 points, or 0.59 percent, at
    The index hit 12,506.68 earlier in the session, its highest
since Sept. 17.
    The market was led higher by its energy subgroup, up 1.29
percent. Suncor Energy Inc rose 3.46 percent to C$34.68,
playing the biggest role of any company in leading the market
    Suncor, Canada's biggest oil and gas company, rose after it
posted a 21 percent rise in third-quarter profit late on
Wednesday and cut spending on oil sands projects.
    The financial subgroup also helped support the index, rising
0.71 percent. Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.93 percent
at C$57.47, and Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.92 percent
to C$81.97.
    Together, the energy and financial sectors form about 60
percent of the index's weight.
    Shares in Catamaran Corp rose 8.4 percent to
C$50.84 after the pharmacy benefit manager raised its earnings
forecast for the year. 
    Gains in energy and financial shares were partly offset by a
0.34 percent decline in the materials group.
    Barrick Gold, the world's top gold miner, fell more than 9
percent to C$36.74 after it reported a sharp decline in
third-quarter profit and forecast higher costs associated with
its huge Pascua-Lama mine in South America. 
    Barrick was the biggest drag of any single stock on the
    Though Barrick was "being punished," there might be a limit
to the decline over the long term, said John Kinsey, portfolio
manager at Caldwell Securities.
    "Most gold stocks are down. But the commodity itself is up.
That will help put a floor under it," he added.
    Gold prices were up as gains in stock markets increased the
appetite for nominally higher-risk assets such as commodities.
    The second biggest drag on the index was BCE Inc.
Shares of Canada's biggest telecom provider dropped 1.4 percent
after it reported quarterly profit fell from a year earlier.
    Cameco Corp, the world's largest publicly-listed
uranium producer, also weighed on the market.
    Its shares were down 6 percent after the Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan-based company cut its long-term uranium production
target by 10 percent on Wednesday.
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