CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises on China data, Suncor earnings

Tue May 1, 2012 12:33pm EDT

* TSX up 58.98 pts, or 0.5 pct, to 12,351.67
    * Highest level since Apr. 3
    * Energy, materials lead gains
    * China, U.S. PMI data boost commodities
    * Suncor, Cameco post strong results

    By Jon Cook	
    TORONTO, May 1 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks were on track for
their fifth straight gain on Tuesday as resource firms rose on
better manufacturing data from China and the United States and
solid earnings from oil industry heavyweight Suncor Energy
.	
    Worries about global growth eased on Tuesday after data
showed manufacturing activity in China and the United States
rose in April, easing concerns the world's largest economies had
lost momentum.  	
    The pace of manufacturing growth in Canada also advanced at
its strongest rate of the year in April as business conditions
improved for a third straight month, data showed on Tuesday.
 	
    The Chinese PMI, which rose to its highest level in 13
months, was seen having the largest impact on Canadian stocks.	
    "This is the number that shows that the biggest consumer of
our commodity goods is back to growth," said Barry Schwartz,
portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.	
    "We could see the commodity stocks, which have let us down
for the past 12 months, become the winners."	
    Seven of 10 main sectors in the index were higher, led by
the energy group, which rose 1.4 percent. Heavily-weighted
materials were also up 0.7 percent.	
    The most influential gainers included Suncor, up 1.4 percent
to C$33.09, Canadian Oil Sands, up 5.8 percent to
C$23.09, Cenovus Energy, up 1.7 percent at C$36.44,
Canadian Natural Resources, which climbed 0.9 percent
to C$34.64, and Teck Resources, up 1.5 percent to
C$37.40.	
    Around noon (1600 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was up 58.98 points, or 0.5 percent,
to 12,351.67, its highest level since April 3.   	
    Energy shares were also boosted by strong earnings from
Suncor. After markets closed on Monday, the country's top oil
producer reported first-quarter operating profit that topped
forecasts, driven largely by better-than-expected production
results. It also raised its quarterly dividend. 	
    "Suncor's number was very strong," said Schwartz. "An
18-percent dividend increase shows strong confidence from
management."	
    Schwartz added that top Canadian oil refineries like Suncor
and Canadian Natural Resources saw their valuations rise after
pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners LP said on
Monday it would buy Sunoco Inc for $5.35 billion.
 	
    Talisman Energy Inc's shares dropped 2.6 percent to
C$12.58 after the oil and gas producer reported a first-quarter
profit on Tuesday, but said it cut capital spending plans again
as gas prices remain weak. 	
    Cameco Corp's shares spiked 4.4 percent to C$22.82
on Tuesday after the world's second-largest uranium producer
reported a 45 percent increase in quarterly profit.
 	
    Thomson Reuters Corp edged up 0.8 percent to
C$29.76 after the global news and information provider reported
a higher-than-expected first quarter profit. 	
    Shares of WestJet Airlines Ltd climbed 2 percent to
C$14.51 after Canada's No. 2 airline, said on Tuesday it has
selected Bombardier Inc to supply turboprop aircraft
for the new regional carrier it is setting up to try to chip
away further at dominant, but ailing, competitor Air Canada
. Bombardier was up 2.1 percent to C$4.27.
 	
    TMX Group shares rose 2.5 percent to C$46.25 after
the consortium of Canadian financial institutions bidding for
the operator of the TSX extended its C$3.8 billion ($3.85
billion) takeover offer.
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