CANADA STOCKS-TSX ekes out gain as oils, banks temper mining losses

Fri Jan 4, 2013 11:43am EST

* TSX up 11.73 points, or 0.09 percent at 12,482.17
    * Energy up 0.33 pct, financials rise 0.41 pct
    * Gold prices pare losses after lackluster U.S. jobs data
    * Canadian economy create 39,800 jobs, defying expectations

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock market edged
moderately higher on Friday as gains in energy and bank issues
offset lower mining stocks, which were hurt by an early drop in
the price of gold to a 4-1/2 month low.
    "There's still some weakness in the golds here right now ...
The price of gold itself is down again today," said Bruce
Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities. "It seems to be on a ...
losing streak."
    Gold and copper prices pared some losses, however, after
data showed the pace of hiring by U.S. employers eased slightly
in December while the unemployment rate crept up, pointing to a
lackluster pace of economic growth.  
    U.S. central bankers have tied the scope for further
gold-friendly monetary stimulus measures to the level of the
unemployment rate. 
    Energy and financials, which make up more than 50 percent of
the index, climbed 0.33 percent and 0.41 percent respectively.
Manulife Financial Corp rose 1.22 percent to C$14.11,
while Royal Bank of Canada gained 0.38 percent to
C$60.93.
    Potash Corp's 0.94 percent gain to C$40.88 led the
index gainers and helped tempered the materials group's 0.45
percent retreat.
    Barrick Gold Corp led the decliners, and was down
0.91 percent at C$33.77. Kinross Gold Corp gave back 2.25
percent to C$9.11.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up a modest 11.73 points, or 0.09 percent at
12,482.17. Five of the index's 10 main groups were higher. 
    "I still think there's a lot of people away. You're probably
not going to get a good feel of the market until next week,"
said Latimer.
    The U.S. labor report was mostly in line with analysts'
forecasts and reinforces expectations of 2 percent economic
growth this year. 
    This is unlikely to quickly bring down the unemployment rate
or make the U.S. Federal Reserve rethink its easy-money policies
anytime soon despite growing unease by some policymakers over a
bond-buying program. 
    Canada's economy defied expectations to create 39,800 jobs
in December, surpassing even the most bullish prediction in a
Reuters poll. The data came amid sluggish growth and fears about
the U.S. "fiscal cliff" and increasing the likelihood of a
central bank rate hike this year.    
    Other data on Friday gave stronger signs of growth, with the
U.S. service sector activity expanding the most in 10 months.
 
    In corporate news, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc
 said it was aiming to double or quadruple its revenue,
but left its fourth-quarter revenue and earnings guidance
unchanged. Shares fell 1.61 percent to C$59.40 and was the
second most negative influence on the TSX.
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