March 12, 2014 / 9:18 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as Ukraine fears ease, gold-mining shares jump

* TSX adds 51.77 points, or 0.36 percent, to 14,319
    * Six of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Gold-mining stocks close up 3.1 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Wednesday as a jump in gold-mining shares and a gain
in industrials helped drive the market after concerns about
instability in Ukraine appeared to ease with heightened
    Investors followed developments in Ukraine, with the
European Union agreeing to a framework for its first sanctions
on Russia since the Cold War and the United States intensifying
efforts to negotiate with Russia. 
    However, recent sluggish data from China and news of the
country's first bond default raised investor nervousness about
the world's second-biggest economy. The London copper benchmark
 dropped in early trade to its lowest in about four years
but rose later in the session.
    Those worries resulted in a rush to perceived safe-haven
assets such as bullion, which jumped 1.5 percent and sent shares
of gold producers up more than 3 percent.
    "We're seeing a mixed picture. At the moment, markets are
consolidating," said Youssef Zohny, a portfolio manager at
Stenner Investment Partners, a subsidiary of Richardson GMP. 
    "Risk aversion is slowly creeping into the market because of
concerns with the Chinese credit situation, as well as
geopolitics," he added. "Whenever markets are pretty strong,
there's always a risk of a healthy correction."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 51.77 points, or 0.36 percent, at 14,319. 
    With Wednesday's gains, the Toronto market is up about 5.1
percent this year. 
    "Over time, as the global economic cycle improves, it does
favor Canadian stocks," said Colin Cieszynski, senior market
analyst at CMC Markets Canada, who sees any improvement in the
United States or Europe benefiting the TSX.
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
    Industrial stocks rose. Canadian National Railway Co
 was up 2 percent at C$63.53 and Canadian Pacific
Railway Ltd climbed 2.5 percent to C$174.07.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.2 percent, with Toronto Dominion Bank climbing 0.4
percent to C$51.75.
    Gold-mining shares jumped the most in nearly 3 weeks.
Goldcorp Inc shot up 4 percent to C$30.95, and Barrick
Gold Corp advanced 2.9 percent to C$22.62.
    With oil prices selling off on concerns about demand, the
energy sector slipped. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd 
lost 1.4 percent to trade at C$40.06.
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