CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as gold miners lone sore spot

Fri May 17, 2013 4:48pm EDT

* TSX rises 105.45 points, or 0.84 percent, at 12,613.05
    * Nine of 10 main sectors advance; materials lag
    * Decent U.S. data, possible end to easing aids confidence
    * RBC biggest positive influence, up almost 2 percent
    * Fed warns BMO on anti-money laundering; stock up

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, May 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Friday as robust economic data helped drive gains in energy
stocks and financial shares, offsetting weakness in gold
producers.
    The materials sector, a major component of the S&P/TSX
composite which includes gold miners, was the lone sector to
finish in the red of ten main sectors, as the price of gold fell
for a seventh straight session. 
    That weakness in gold came after some Federal Reserve
officials said the U.S. central bank might begin to pull back
from its easy monetary policies this summer, comments which were
interpreted elsewhere as a strident stamp of approval on
economic recovery.
    Investors were further encouraged after a gauge of future
U.S. economic activity rose to its highest level in nearly five
years in April as firming housing and labor market conditions
offset weakness in manufacturing. 
    "People were already anticipating the leading indicator
number would be pretty good" after a string of earlier data
pointing toward economic recovery, said Marcus Xu, a portfolio
manager at MY Capital Management Corp in Vancouver.
    "Then it came out and beat the estimates by quite a bit," he
said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended the day up 105.45 points, or 0.84 percent, at
12,613.05. It gained 0.2 percent for the week.
    The commodities-heavy benchmark Canadian index is up
slightly more than 1 percent on the year, badly trailing the
near-16 percent year-to-date rise on the Wall Street benchmark
S&P 500 index.
    But Xu added the TSX could still catch up as the beaten-down
resources sector wins back supporters.
    "People are starting to look at the energy sector ... that's
a good sign because energy is one of the major, major engines
for economic growth, he said. "The energy stocks are still
underperforming the commodities."
    The Toronto market will probably be higher by year-end, but
room for upside is limited, said Keith Richards, a 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."
    Royal Bank of Canada's 1.9 percent gain, to C$62.17,
was the single biggest force carrying the index higher. Suncor
Energy Inc, Canada's largest energy company, advanced
2.6 percent to C$32.92.
    In company news, the Federal Reserve Board said it told Bank
of Montreal to step up efforts at the bank's Chicago
branch to detect and prevent money laundering. The stock rose
1.1 percent to C$62.18. 
    Shares of gold producers fell more than 3 percent, dragging
the broader materials sector down 1.6 percent. The energy sector
gained 2 percent as oil bounced higher for a third straight day,
and the financial sector added 1 percent.
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