January 9, 2014 / 9:50 PM / in 6 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher as positive U.S. data lifts financials

* TSX falls 14.78 points, or 0.11 percent, to 13,629.41
    * Five of 10 main index sectors decline
    * HudBay slips after announcing stock offering
    * Canadian Natural falls after dropping asset sale plans

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
slightly on Thursday after positive U.S. jobless claims data
helped boost the financial and industrial sectors, overcoming
weakness in natural resource shares.
    Trading has been choppy so far this year, with investors
trying to balance their portfolios after the Toronto market
advanced 9.6 percent in 2013. The benchmark index, having
declined in the first three sessions of 2014, has recorded gains
in the next three. 
    A day after a positive private jobs report, figures on
Thursday indicated the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits last week fell slightly more than
    The recent wave of positive U.S. labor market data suggested
that the employment outlook was brightening, raising
expectations of a bullish nonfarm payrolls report on Friday. But
some investors said they were looking for greater consistency in
jobs growth.
    "I'd like to see a little higher number tomorrow, a little
higher number next month and a little higher number in the month
after that," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM
Wealth Management. 
    "That would tell me that we're going in the right direction,
and that we're lifting off the ground and flying out of the
airport," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 14.78 points, or 0.11 percent, at 13,629.41.
    "We expect to see the market roller coaster this year,"
Mastracci said. "The bulls have been running for quite some time
    He said the Toronto market's prospects will be impacted by
the performance of the U.S. economy. 
    Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.5 percent, helped by a 3 percent gain in Manulife Financial
Corp to C$21.99. Sun Life Financial Inc,
another life insurer, was up 1.8 percent at C$38.01.
    The industrial group advanced 0.6 percent, with Canadian
Pacific Railway Ltd climbing 2.2 percent to C$161.19.
    But the mining sub-sector declined 1.8 percent.  
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd dropped 2.5 percent to
CC$18.31, and Teck Resources Ltd fell 2.1 percent to
    HudBay Minerals Inc slipped 2.7 percent to C$8.57
after the company agreed to offer 18.2 million of its common
stock at C$8.25 a share. 
    Shares of energy producers lost 0.7 percent, with Suncor
Energy Inc giving back 0.5 percent to C$37.29.
    Canadian Natural Resources Ltd slipped 0.4 percent
to C$35.11 after the oil producer said it has dropped plans to
sell some of its shale gas-rich Montney properties after failing
to attract a suitable offer.
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