August 15, 2012 / 3:07 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains modestly after mixed ream of U.S. data

* TSX up 11.27 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,864.88

* Banks and energy companies lead rise

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index moved slightly higher on Wednesday after mixed U.S. data kept investors guessing about further central bank action to stimulate growth.

Financial stocks were the biggest gainers, but were offset by a range of other sectors that kept the key index little changed from its close on Tuesday.

“The economic stuff coming out of the States, that may have an effect, but we are in the summer doldrums and there is not a lot going on,” said John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities, who added that in the absence of unexpected news, Canadian equities were unlikely to make dramatic moves in either direction through August.

U.S. consumer prices were suprisingly flat in July for a second straight month, giving the Federal Reserve room for further monetary easing.

Moves to kickstart growth in the U.S. economy are closely watched in Canada, which conducts the majority of its trade with its southern neighbor.

But indications on monetary policy moves aren’t likely until later this month at the earliest, when U.S. central bankers meet for an annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Meanwhile, the resource-focused index also looks to China for signs that the giant Asian economy’s appetite for building materials, oil and other commodities remains strong.

China’s economy faces big headwinds though cooling inflation is giving the government more leeway to manoeuvre monetary policy, Premier Wen Jiabao was quoted by state media as saying on Wednesday.

But this didn’t seem to surprise investors.

“The numbers have been saying that for several months now,” Kinsey said.

By 10:34 a.m (1434 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 11.27 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,864.88.

Banks helped with the rise, with Toronto Dominion Bank adding 0.5 percent to C$79.70 and Royal Bank of Canada gaining 0.4 percent to C$52.21.

Fertilizer companies Potash Corp and Agrium Inc also gained with a rise in grain prices.

Gold miners were among the heaviest decliners on the key index, despite the price of bullion rebounding on hopes for another round of gold-friendly U.S. monetary easing. Goldcorp slipped 0.7 percent to C$36.18 and Yamana Gold Inc was off 0.8 percent at C$14.83.

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