June 8, 2010 / 9:24 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends slightly higher on U.S. optimism

* TSX up 12.44 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,517.18

* Six out of 10 main sectors push higher

* RIM recovers to rise 1.8 percent after sell-off

(Adds details, RIM rise)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, June 8 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended little changed on Tuesday after a volatile day, as optimism over the state of the U.S. economy countered festering worries over Europe’s fiscal health.

On the leaderboard, Teck Resources TCKb.TO soared 5.1 percent to C$32.73, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) rebounded to end 0.8 percent higher at C$52.89, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose 0.5 percent to C$31.95.

Among the heavyweight decliners, Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) cut gains to end 0.7 percent lower at C$45.49, while Potash Corp (POT.TO) dropped 2.5 percent to C$98.74.

“The market has been tough lately ... on a day when gold and oil and the U.S. is climbing, I have no idea what’s holding us back,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

“There seems to be a dark cloud hanging over the market and only a few good up days will make people feel better and change the mood around.”

Earlier in the day, Fitch Ratings warned that Britain was facing a formidable fiscal challenge and said its public debt ratio had climbed more quickly than those of other top-rated sovereign credits. [ID:nWLA5820]

“I don’t think anyone expects the debt is going to be restricted to just Greece or Portugal,” said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.

“I think investors are beginning to turn their attention to the UK, which seems to be heading into the next problem ... and then eventually, we’ve got the U.S. to worry about.”

The news partly offset reassuring comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday that the U.S. economy will likely avoid a “double-dip” recession and that European leaders are committed to ensuring the survival of the euro. [ID:nLDE65705B]

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 12.44 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 11,517.18. Six of the 10 sectors were higher.

The index opened in positive territory, helped in part by rallying gold shares on the back of record high prices, but struggled in the red for most of the day.

U.S. crude oil futures rose to just shy of $72 a barrel, while gold hit an all-time peak above $1,250 an ounce as investors flocked to the safety of the precious metal over fears about European credit contagion. [GOL/] [O/R]

While the gold mining subsector ended the day 0.3 percent, higher, it had tapered off from bigger gains.

“How much higher can gold go really?” added Schwartz.

So-called “defensive” telecom stocks, one of the index’s recent outperformers, lost 0.8 percent.

“If you’re bargain-hunting, that’s where you would probably look to rotate out of and start picking up some of these cyclical or financial names that have underperformed,” he said.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion RIM.TO jumped 1.8 percent to C$61.10, following a 5 percent drop on Monday, the same day Apple Inc (AAPL.O)unveiled its latest iPhone model. [ID:nN07198138]

“RIM, boy oh boy, they better come up with a good competing product or they are in trouble, but that stock has now recovered,” added Schwartz.

Maple Leaf Foods (MFI.TO) tumbled 2.6 percent to C$9.26 after a newspaper report said the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is looking to sell its stake in the company.

$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Frank McGurty

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