September 14, 2011 / 9:49 PM / 7 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on euro zone relief, golds drag

 * TSX rises 87.90 points, or 0.72 percent, at 12,293.38
 * Nine of 10 main sectors higher
 * Energy stocks lead gains; golds drag  (Adds details, analyst comment)
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose along with global equities on Wednesday, as European leaders displayed new urgency in efforts to contain the euro zone debt crisis.
 German and French leaders urged Greece to implement all financial reforms “strictly and effectively” to ensure continued euro zone assistance and reduce any chance of a debt default. [ID:nP6E7JV05E]
 Adding to relief for investors, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a confidence vote on an austerity plan for the euro zone’s third-largest economy.
 “It appears that the confidence pendulum has swung in the favor of European contagion not spreading, therefore world growth not being threatened, therefore more confidence in second half of 2011 growth,” said Robert McWhirter, a portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management Inc.
 Global sentiment received an early boost after Europe’s top bureaucrat said plans for a common euro zone bond, seen by many as a key tool to ease the region’s festering debt crisis, would soon be presented. [ID:nL3E7KE09F]
 Shares of oil and gas companies, which have been hit hard during recent downturns, gained 2.07 percent to lead Toronto’s rally.
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was the most influential advancer, rising 3.1 percent to C$29.44, while Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) rose 3.5 percent to C$33.02 and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) added 2.2 percent to C$34.45.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed the session up 87.90 points, or 0.72 percent, at 12,293.38. Nine of the 10 main sectors were higher.
 The TSX added to gains made Tuesday, when the index snapped a dramatic three-day losing streak. Global stock markets have been roiled by uncertainty over the European debt crisis and fears that Greece was on the tipping point of default.
 But McWhirter noted that from a technical analysis perspective, North American markets have been moving up in a channel and making effectively higher lows since early August.
 “It looks like European markets may be in the process of trying to establish a bottom, which is similar to what happened in North America and other markets,” he said.
 “If so, then on a combined basis we may start to move higher as we move towards the end of the year.”
 Toronto’s gold mining stocks dragged the broader materials sector down 0.4 percent on Wednesday, causing the TSX to lag U.S. market gains. The price of bullion fell as investors stepped back into riskier markets and as price volatility over the past month diminished the metal’s safe-haven appeal. [GOL/]
 “(Gold stocks) fit in well to the short term rotational volatility,” said Michael Smedley, chief portfolio manager at Morgan Meighen & Associates.
 “Nevertheless, the longer view is still of a strong gold price ... It’s going to continue to be a sector of interest.”
 Goldcorp (G.TO) was the heaviest drag on the index, falling 1.8 percent to C$50.37, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) lost 1.1 percent to C$52.16.
 In Canadian company news, shares in Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) fell 1.4 percent to C$4.20 after Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) repeated that it had no plans for further plane purchases. [ID:nS1E78D0MM]
 Shares of Silvercorp (SVM.TO) rebounded 3.7 percent to C$6.43 after the China-focused miner offered a detailed rebuttal of new anonymous allegations of fraud, releasing figures on taxes, production and assay grades to fend off a short-seller attack. [ID:nS1E78D0YV]  (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)                 

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