CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as US data outweighs Barrick, Cameco fall

Thu Nov 1, 2012 12:04pm EDT

* TSX rises 47.21 points, or 0.38 percent, to 12,470.12
    * Hits two-week high after positive U.S. data
    * Barrick Gold biggest drag; shares down 8 percent
    * Materials fall; Energy, financials up

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index hit a
two-week high on Thursday, driven by positive economic data from
the United States, which more than offset disappointing results
from mining giants Barrick Gold Corp and Cameco Corp
.
    U.S. data showed consumer confidence climbed to a more than
four-year high in October and the pace of growth in
manufacturing picked up modestly. The numbers pushed up U.S.
stock markets strongly.  
    "U.S. data was better than expected. The U.S. markets are
stronger. We're just following along in their footsteps," said
Levente Mady, senior portfolio manager at PI Financial Corp.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&P/TSX composite
index was up 47.21 points, or 0.38 percent, at
12,470.12.
    The index was led higher by its energy subgroup, up 1.14
percent. Suncor Energy Inc rose 3 percent to C$34.55,
playing the biggest role of any company in leading the market
higher.
    Suncor, Canada's biggest oil and gas company, rose after it
posted a 21 percent rise in third-quarter profit late on
Wednesday and cut spending on oil sands projects.
 
    The financial subgroup also helped support the index, rising
0.58 percent. Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.90 percent
at C$57.45, and Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.75 percent
to C$81.84.
    
    MINERS DRAG AFTER RESULTS
    Gains in energy and financial shares were partly offset by a
0.81 percent decline in the materials group.
    Barrick Gold, the world's top gold miner, fell more than 8
percent to C$37.04 after it reported a sharp decline in
third-quarter profit and forecast higher costs associated with
its huge Pascua-Lama mine in South America. 
Barrick was the biggest drag of any single stock on the index.
    Though Barrick was "being punished," there might be a limit
to the decline over the long term, said John Kinsey, portfolio
manager at Caldwell Securities.
    "Most gold stocks are down. But the commodity itself is up.
That will help put a floor under it," he added.
    Gold prices were up as gains in stock markets increased the
appetite for nominally higher-risk assets such as commodities.
 
    The second biggest drag on the index was Cameco Corp
, the world's largest publicly listed uranium producer.
    Its shares were down 7 percent after the Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan-based company cut its long-term uranium production
target by 10 percent on Wednesday and reported a third-quarter
profit drop.
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