CANADA STOCKS-Bank, energy shares push TSX up despite Cyprus worry

Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:33am EDT

* TSX up 27.70 points, or 0.22 percent, at 12,809.06
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Rona shares up 4 percent on CEO appointment

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Tuesday with strength in financial and energy shares
offsetting a drop in the materials sector, as equity investors
largely looked past a crucial vote in Cyprus that threatened to
push the island into default.
    Supporting the market was data that showed groundbreakings
for U.S. homes rose in February and that new permits for
construction climbed to the highest level since 2008, a sign the
U.S. housing recovery is gathering steam. 
    Cyprus's parliament was set to vote to reject a divisive
euro zone bailout plan that would tax bank deposits. Rejection
was seen pushing the island closer to a debt default and banking
collapse. 
    "Investors seem to be willing to assume that this will be
contained," said Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment
Strategy. "The market seems to accept the assurances that they
will come up with some compromise that will be acceptable." 
    "But the long-term repercussions are very, very serious," he
added. "Canadian investors should be concerned about the
knock-on effects (on the euro zone)."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 27.70 points, or 0.22 percent, at 12,809.06.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's weightiest sector, rose 0.4 percent,
with Royal Bank of Canada up 0.3 percent at C$61.41, and
Bank of Montreal rising 0.5 percent to C$64.11.
    Pipeline company TransCanada Corp added 1.1 percent
to C$49.46 and played the biggest role of any single stock in
leading the index higher. Its move helped the energy sector gain
0.2 percent despite falling oil prices 
    Shares of Rona Inc, a home-improvement retailer and
distributor, climbed 4 percent to C$10.98 after it said Metro
Inc executive Robert Sawyer will take over as its chief
executive as it looks to turnaround its business.
 
    Graham said he views Sawyer's experience at grocer Metro as
a positive. "He comes with a good pedigree. He understands the
Qu├ębec market, as well as the Anglophone market."
    Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc fell 4.8 percent
to C$64.27. Analysts trimmed their expectations on the clothing
maker a day after it warned that a recall of batches of its
black signature yoga pants would significantly affect its
results. 
    The materials group, which includes mining stocks, slipped
0.1 percent. A nearly 3 percent in Teck Resources Ltd 
to C$28.96 weighed on the sector.
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