CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs as banks, consumer stocks provide lift

Tue May 7, 2013 5:07pm EDT

* TSX rises 10.19 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,464.11
    * Seven of 10 main sectors advance
    * WestJet falls 7.5 percent after results
    * BlackBerry slips 5.1 percent after analyst report

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index posted
its fourth straight session of gains on Tuesday as strength in
financial and consumer discretionary stocks following comments
from central bankers indicating their support of growth-oriented
policies offset declines in gold miners after bullion prices
tumbled.
    The market received further support after Germany, Europe's
largest economy, reported a 2.2 percent rise in industrial
orders in March, compared with expectations for a 0.5 percent
drop.
    European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said the bank was
ready to trim rates again if needed, while Australia's central
bank cut rates to a new low of 2.75 percent and suggested it may
do more. 
    The comments from key central banks boosted broader equity
markets, but dented gold's safe-haven appeal as an alternative
investment.
    The resource-heavy Toronto market is barely in positive
territory on the year due to the weakness of materials and
energy stocks.
    "There is a tug of war between the cyclical and defensive
trades," said Diana Avigdor, portfolio manager and head of
trading at Barometer Capital Management.
    "The thinking is, going into the second quarter, there could
be a rotation into cyclicals," she added.
    Consumer discretionary stocks, viewed as cyclical, rose
almost 1 percent and were one of the biggest gainers on the
index.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended up 10.19 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,464.11.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index closed higher.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gave
back 1.2 percent, hurt by the weakness in gold producers.
    Gold shares, down about 37 percent since the start of the
year, slid 2.8 percent on Tuesday as gold prices dropped 1.2
percent. 
    "Not only is the gold price going down, a lot of gold
producers have not delivered on forecasts. That's a double
whammy on gold equities," said Luciano Orengo, a portfolio
manager with Manulife Asset Management.
    "I'm not ready to call a bottom yet" for the gold sector, he
added.
    Financials, the index's most heavily-weighted sector, gained
0.4 percent.
    WestJet Airlines Ltd shed 7.5 percent to end at
C$22.87 after the airline said it expects revenue per available
seat mile to decline in the second quarter, hurt by the timing
of the Easter and Passover holidays as well as the cancellation
of some business by travel agency Thomas Cook. 
    "The market is extremely disappointed with the airline
earnings," said Avigdor, who owns WestJet shares, but has been
discarding airline stocks of late.
    "The earnings were not too bad, but they did rattle the
confidence of investors because the stocks were priced for
perfection," she added, referring also to Air Canada, whose
shares also fell after reporting results last week.
    BlackBerry dropped 5.1 percent to C$14.93 after
Pacific Crest Securities issued a downbeat report on sales
momentum for smartphones running the company's new BlackBerry 10
operating system. That helped drag the information technology
sector down 1.1 percent.
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