CANADA STOCKS-TSX ticks higher as U.S. data supports
* TSX up 17.52 points, or 0.13 pct, at 13,313.38
* Eight of TSX's 10 main groups higher (Adds details, quote)
TORONTO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index edged higher on Tuesday morning, propped up by better than expected U.S. retail data that pointed to healthy consumer spending during the holiday season.
Investor sentiment got a lift from U.S. data that showed upbeat U.S. retail sales in November, while producer prices rose, offering further evidence the economic recovery gathered steam in the fourth quarter. [ID:nN14261708] [ID:nN14249682]
"Profits should be very strong as you got a much better retail sales number, you have small business optimism improving in the U.S. Those are strong things," said Barry Schwartz, vice-president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
A mix of names topped the list of influential movers on the upside including economy-linked bank stocks. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) was up 0.3 percent at C$56.74, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) climbed 0.9 percent to C$78.82.
Among heavyweight energy issues, Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) rose 0.7 percent to C$38.48.
At 10:25 a.m. (1525 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 17.52 points, or 0.13 percent, at 13,313.38. The index had briefly turned negative shortly after the open, but quickly recovered.
Eight of the index's 10 sectors were higher.
Still, Schwartz said TSX gains were kept in check by weakness in some gold mining issues, while the broader market was also a little cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision later in the day. [nFEDAHEAD]
"At the moment, we're being held down by gold stocks because you got much better economic data out of the U.S., which means the U.S. dollar is stronger which is less bullish for people who believe gold is the best alternative currency," he said.
Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) was down 0.9 percent at C$82.68 and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) shed 0.2 percent at C$54.22. [GOL/]
Elsewhere, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) fell 1.4 percent to C$16.55, after Standard & Poor's cut its ratings on Manulife debt, citing concern about the insurer's U.S. earnings potential and capital risks. [ID:nN13136533]
Telus Corp (T.TO), up 1.2 percent at C$46.95, said on Tuesday it expects to see both earnings and revenue rise in 2011, driven primarily by growth in its wireless and data businesses, along with lower financing costs. [ID:nN14259944]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)
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