* TSX up 20.31 points, or 0.15 percent at 13,201.54
* Six of the TSX’s 10 main groups higher
* BMO down 6.53 percent at C$58.00 (Adds details, quotes)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished higher on Friday, bolstered by strength in resource issues and Research In Motion RIM.TO, but a retreat by Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) helped temper the gains.
Six of the TSX’s 10 main groups advanced, with materials and energy issues climbing 0.85 percent 0.76 percent respectively.
Base-metals miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO jumped 3.9 percent to C$58.39, while uranium producer Cameco Corp (CCO.TO) rose 2.65 percent to C$39.94. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up 0.77 percent at C$52.37.
Crude future ended moderately higher, buoyed by optimism that the U.S. economic recovery was gathering steam.
Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), gained 1.39 percent to C$38.63 while Talisman Energy TLM.TO added 1.7 percent to C$28.89.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 20.23 points, or 0.15 percent, at 13,201.46. The index finished down 0.29 percent on the week.
“It’s been a good December, right now we’ll expect to see lighter volumes ... I see a lot of portfolio positioning in anticipation of end of the year,” said Brian Pow, vice-president, research and equity analyst, at Acumen Capital Partners.
“This is probably the last day you’ll see some normal volumes and actions. It’ll probably get a little sloppy next week or so.”
Research In Motion finished up 1.81 percent at C$60.69 after reporting quarterly earnings that topped analyst forecasts after markets closed on Thursday [ID:nN16269441].
However, some market watchers also pointed out that shares of the BlackBerry maker trade at a significant discount compared with rivals south of the border, such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) [ID:nN1794135].
“The good news is that Research In Motion is in the smartphone business and the market for smartphones is expanding rapidly ... They’re doing a lot of things right, but they’re still going to have that mantle of skepticism around them and the low P/E for a while here,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.
The overall technology sector climbed 0.59 percent.
Tempering the TSX’s gains was a hefty retreat by Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), which fell 6.53 percent to C$58.00 on uncertainty over its purchase of troubled U.S. lender Marshall & Ilsley Corp MI.N for $4.1 billion in stock. [ID:nN1744360] The overall financial group, which makes up about a third of the index, was down 1 percent.
“An acquisition in the U.S. is always some risk for the banks,” said Pow.
“We’re still not exactly certain how sound the whole U.S. banking system is, so you never know what you’re going to get it until you’re a year away or so. On first blush it looks like a good acquisition,” he said.
In individual company news, Suncor Energy (SU.TO) bucked the energy sector trend by finishing down 0.49 percent at C$36.30 after it announced it will pool investments with France’s Total SA in three multibillion-dollar oil sands projects. [ID:nLDE6BG0EZ]
Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) jumped 4.05 percent to C$25.45. The company said on Friday it would raise up to $1.2 billion via a rights offering to fund the development of its massive copper and gold project in Mongolia. [ID:nN17127438]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)