RPT-CANADA STOCKS-TSX pushes higher as energy gains soften dip in golds
* TSX rises 49.73 points, or 0.40 percent, to 12,557.33 * Nine of 10 main sectors advance * Suncor gains 2 percent to play market's biggest positive influence * Fed warns BMO on anti-money laundering; stock up By John Tilak TORONTO, May 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday as positive economic data helped drive gains in energy stocks and financial shares, offsetting weakness in gold producers. Comments that the U.S. Federal Reserve might begin to pull back from its easy monetary policies this summer weighed on gold prices, which slumped for a seventh straight session. Investors were encouraged after a gauge of future U.S. economic activity in April rose to its highest level in nearly five years as firming housing and labor market conditions offset weakness in manufacturing. The commodities-heavy benchmark Canadian index is up slightly more than 1 percent on the year, badly trailing a near-16 percent rise in the S&P 500. The Toronto market will probably be higher by the end of the year, but room for upside is limited, said Keith G. Richards, portfolio manager and technical analyst at ValueTrend Wealth Management. "I'm warmly bullish on the TSX," he added. "The TSX is fighting softer trends in the commodities." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 49.73 points, or 0.40 percent, at 12,557.33. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Energy shares were up 1.2 percent after oil prices gained. Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's largest energy company, advanced nearly 2 percent to C$32.73 and played the biggest role of any single stock in leading the market higher. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.4 percent. In company news, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board said it told Bank of Montreal < BMO.TO> to step up efforts at the bank's Chicago branch to detect and prevent money laundering. The stock rose 0.7 percent to C$61.94. Shares of gold producers fell more than 2 percent and dragged the materials sector, which includes mining stocks, down 1 percent.
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