CANADA STOCKS-Fed optimism lifts TSX, energy and bank shares lead

Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:20am EDT

* TSX rises 90.62 points, or 0.74 percent, to 12,277.96
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Brookfield climbs after asset sales

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index shot
higher on Monday, paced by strong gains in its energy and
financial sectors as investors hoped this week's U.S. Federal
Reserve meeting would reconfirm support for the central bank's
easy monetary policy.
    The rise was a recovery from the index's 1.5 percent loss
last week but the index remained in negative territory for the
year.
    As with global equity markets, Toronto stocks have been hit
in recent weeks by fears the Fed will soon start scaling down
its quantitative easing program, under which it buys $85 billion
a month in bonds. 
    But markets on Monday turned optimistic that the Fed will
affirm its commitment to supporting U.S. economic recovery at
its two-day meeting, which ends Wednesday.
    "I don't think anybody is expecting anything different from
the Fed" said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at
ScotiaMcLeod.
     "People are feeling better. A little bit of confidence is
slowly back up in our market," he added. "We might have overdone
it on the downside, and it's time to equal that now and show
some response to modest economic growth."
    Data showing German wages rose at their fastest pace in
almost four years at the start of 2013 and euro zone exports
jumped in April lifted hopes that Europe was recovering from
recession.    
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 90.62 points, or 0.74 percent, at 12,277.96.
Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were
up 0.9 percent. In the group, Royal Bank of Canada, the
country's biggest lender, gained 1.2 percent to C$60.71 and
played the biggest role of any single stock in leading the
market higher.
    Brookfield Asset Management Inc shares were up 1.8
percent, at C$36.60.
    Brookfield said on Sunday it will sell its Longview Timber
holdings in the U.S. Pacific Northwest to Weyerhaeuser Co 
for $2.65 billion, including assumption of debt, and will sell a
nearby paper and packaging business to KapStone Paper and
Packaging Corp for $1.025 billion. 
    Shares of energy companies were up 1 percent. They gained as
a deepening Syrian conflict fueled a rise in the price of oil.
 Suncor Energy Inc added 1 percent to C$31.27.
    Shares of gold miners slipped with falling bullion prices.
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