CANADA STOCKS-China data pushes TSX to 10-month high

Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:24pm EST

* TSX ends up 77.50 points, or 0.62 percent, at 12,599.74
    * Eight of 10 main sectors on index advance
    * Gold miners make biggest gains

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Resource shares pushed Canada's
main stock index to a 10-month high on Thursday as robust trade
data from China signaled a pickup in global demand and boosted
commodity prices.
    Investors were also encouraged by the European Central
Bank's decision to hold interest rates at a record low and by
ECB comments that the euro zone economy will recover later in
2013. 
    The index's materials sector, which includes mining stocks,
jumped 2.2 percent with gold companies making the biggest gains
on a rally in gold prices. 
    Goldcorp Inc added 3.6 percent to C$36.68, Barrick
Gold Corp gained 2.3 percent to C$33.95, and Yamana
Gold Inc surged 5.8 percent to C$17.26. The three
stocks were the most influential names in leading the index
higher.
    Data on Thursday showed China's exports hit a seven-month
high in December, a strong finish to the year after seven
straight quarters of slowdown. 
    "Any indication that the Chinese economy is starting to perk
up is helping the markets," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio
manager at Stenner Investment Partners, a unit of Richardson
GMP, in Vancouver.
    "We're going to see fits and starts. There's probably not
going to be a straight line. But in the medium term, there's
some good momentum," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended up 77.50 points, or 0.62 percent, at 12,599.74.
Eight of the 10 main sectors positive. Financials and health
care stocks were flat. The index hit an intraday high of
12,618.43, its strongest level since March 2012.
    The energy sector was up 0.4 percent as U.S. crude oil
futures reached a 14-week high on the Chinese data and on news
that Saudi Arabia was cutting its crude oil production..
In the group, Suncor Energy Inc rose 0.9 percent to
C$33.58. 
    "We don't think it's going to be a blockbuster year, but it
could be a better year for energy stocks in particular, and
hopefully some material stocks," said Michael Sprung, president
of Sprung Investment Management.
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