November 1, 2012 / 9:19 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises to near 7-week high on US, China data

* TSX rises 76.85 points, 0.62 pct, 12,499.76
    * Index hits highest level since Sept 14
    * Market closing level highest since Apr 2
    * Energy, financials stocks lead market higher
    * Barrick Gold biggest drag; shares down 9 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index
rose on Thursday to its highest level in nearly seven weeks, as
positive economic data from the United States and China 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 sharply higher.  
    In China, official and private-sector factory surveys
signaled the 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 finished up 76.85 points, or 0.62 pct, at
12,499.76. Its session high of 12,511.46 was the highest level
since Sept 14.
    It was the strongest finish since April 2, when it closed at
    The market got a boost from its energy subgroup, up 1.34
percent. Suncor Energy Inc provided the biggest boost of any
    Suncor rose 3.46 percent to C$34.68, the day after
Canada's biggest oil and gas company posted a 21 percent rise in
third-quarter profit and cut spending on oil sands projects.
    The financial subgroup also supported the index, rising 0.66
percent. Royal Bank of Canada was up 1.12 percent at
C$57.58, while Bank of Nova Scotia ended up 0.76
percent at C$54.66.
    Together, the energy and financial sectors form nearly 60
percent of the index's weight.
    Shares in Catamaran Corp rose 8.74 percent to
C$51.00 after the pharmacy benefit manager raised its earnings
forecast for the year. 
    Gains in energy and financial shares were partly offset by a
0.15 percent decline in the materials group.
    Barrick Gold, the world's top gold miner, fell 9.48 percent
to C$36.56 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
    John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities, said
there might be a limit to Barrick's decline over the long term.
    "Most gold stocks are down. But the commodity itself is up.
That will help put a floor under it," he added.
    Gold prices rose as gains in stock markets increased the
appetite for commodities. 
    The second biggest drag on the index was BCE Inc.
Shares of Canada's biggest telecom provider dropped 1.17 percent
after it reported quarterly profit fell from a year earlier. It
finished at C$43.15. 
    Cameco Corp, the world's largest publicly-listed
uranium producer, also weighed on the market.
    Its shares ended 5.01 percent lower at C$18.40 after the
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company cut its long-term uranium
production target by 10 percent on Wednesday. 
    Offsetting some of the declines in the materials group was a
5.93 percent rise in Teck Resources Ltd shares. Teck
closed at C$33.58, supported by firmer copper prices, which rose
on the Chinese data. China is the world's largest consumer of
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