March 25, 2014 / 9:04 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as U.S. data supports, Ukraine tensions cool

(Adds details, comments from fund manager; updates prices)
    * TSX rises 20.94 points, or 0.15 percent, to 14,299.49
    * Six of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Teck jumps more than 3 percent after copper prices gain

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Tuesday as positive U.S. data indicated strength in
the world's biggest economy and tensions over Ukraine eased
    Speculation that the Chinese government may unveil stimulus
measures meanwhile boosted the price of copper, which jumped 2
percent to hit a two-week high, and sent shares of diversified
miner Teck Resources Ltd up more than 3 percent.
    Data released on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence
touching a six-year high in March and house prices rising in
    Investors also watched as Russia indicated a willingness to
engage with the West, and U.S. President Barack Obama and his
allies agreed to hold off on more damaging economic sanctions
unless Moscow went beyond the seizure of Crimea. 
    The Toronto market firmed after dropping in the previous two
sessions and has advanced about 5 percent this year.
    "The market is fairly volatile on not a lot of volume or
conviction," said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management.
"If the (Ukraine situation) escalates in Crimea, then the market
will react very negatively." 
    Strength in the global economy and easy monetary policies by
central banks could help the Canadian equity market this year,
he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 20.94 points, or 0.15 percent, at 14,299.49.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada advancing 0.4
percent to C$72.70.
    Bank of Montreal gained 0.4 percent, to C$73.79,
after shareholders in UK fund manager F&C Asset Management voted
in favor of a 708 million pounds ($1.17 billion) takeover bid by
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, rose 0.9
percent. The group benefited from the jump in the price of
copper, as well as gains in other commodities such as gold and
    Teck climbed to C$24.18, and Agrium Inc added 1.8
percent to C$106.62.
    In corporate news, Toronto Stock Exchange operator TMX Group
Ltd said it plans to launch a new business to allow
capital raising and the trading of securities of privately owned
entities. The stock added 1.1 percent to C$53.40.

 (Editing by Grant McCool and Meredith Mazzilli)
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