February 12, 2010 / 10:18 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Bargain-hunters help lift TSX to higher close

 * TSX up 34.32 points, or 0.3 pct, at 11,469.81
 * Index closes 2.2 percent higher for the week
 * China’s move to tighten bank reserve levels surprises  (Adds details, quotes)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index eked out a gain on Friday as bargain-hunters scooped up stocks seen as undervalued and the index’s heavily weighted resource sectors trimmed losses brought on by concerns about China’s monetary policy.
 The TSX rebounded late in the session after falling nearly 100 points as China’s decision to increase bank reserve requirements raised worries about the move’s impact on global growth. [ID:nTOE61B069]
 A mix of names topped the list of influential movers on the upside, including technology bellwether Research In Motion RIM.TO, up 3.3 percent at C$75.30. Earlier, RBC raised its rating on the BlackBerry maker to “top pick” from “outperform.” [CA-RCH]
 Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) rose 0.7 percent to C$55.49 and EnCana (ECA.TO) climbed 1.8 percent at C$33.68.
 “There is a tremendous amount of liquidity or cash on the sidelines and any time the prices come down they’ve been met with this wall of cash,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.
 “I think people are looking for an opportunity to deploy cash and I think that’s part of what’s going on.”
 The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 34.32 points, or 0.3 pct, at 11,469.81, heading into a long weekend with market holidays in Canada and the United States on Monday.
 Investors are “reacting in a short-term fashion” to the China news, said Pavel Begun, managing partner at 3G Capital Management.
 “That plays into the day-to-day volatility, whereas, in reality, how they should be looking at it is, they should say does that change the longer term outlook,” said Begun.
 “Regardless of what happens in China over the short term there are plenty of undervalued companies in the marketplace.”
 The rise marked the fourth straight gaining session for the TSX, which notched its highest close in three weeks. The index rose 2.2 percent for the week.
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO) topped the list of downside movers, dropping 1.2 percent to C$30.85, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) slipped 0.5 percent to C$38.74, as the China announcement dragged oil, gold and base metals markets lower. [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L]
 Another big name weighing on the market was life insurer Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), down 0.9 percent at C$18.98. Manulife and Sun Life (SLF.TO), which fell 1 percent to C$30.11, reported disappointing results on Thursday.
 Elsewhere, cable operator Shaw Communications Inc (SJRb.TO) agreed to buy a controlling stake in the television business of debt-swamped Canwest Global Communications Corp CGS.V, Canada’s biggest media company. [ID:nSGE61B0BY] Shaw shares fell 2.5 percent to C$19.30.
 The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 1.56 points, or 0.23 percent, higher at 671.29.
 ($1=$1.05 Canadian)  (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)   

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