CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs as U.S. data warms sentiment

Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:12am EDT

* TSX rises 53.38 points, or 0.49 percent, to 12,010.28
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Aimia jumps after Aeroplan deal with TD Bank

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 27 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Thursday as healthy U.S. economic data lifted
investor sentiment and fueled gains in almost every major index
sector.
     Further boosting the mood was data that showing German
unemployment dropped unexpectedly in June and that Britain did
not suffer a double-dip recession early last year as previously
thought.  
     The index's gains was limited, however, by declines in
telecoms stocks, which fell for the second straight day after
reports that big U.S. player Verizon Communications Inc 
is looking to enter the Canadian market.
     On the data front, U.S. consumer spending rebounded in May
and new applications for unemployment benefits fell last week,
suggesting the U.S. economy remained on a moderate growth path.
 
    "As a result of the massive deleveraging by consumers,
they're in a better financial position," said Philip Petursson,
managing director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset
Management. "And the job situation is improving, albeit
modestly."
    Recent economic figures show the economic environment in the
United States is modestly positive, but not sufficiently robust
for the U.S. Federal Reserve to throttle back its stimulus
program sharply, Petursson added. "I believe it's not enough for
the Fed to rush into tapering."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 53.38 points, or 0.49 percent, at 12,010.28.  
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, rose
more than 1 percent, with gold-mining stocks climbing with the
price of bullion. Barrick Gold Corp was up 1.2
percent at C$15.69, and Goldcorp Inc was up 1.5 percent
at C$23.74.
    Energy shares added 0.6 percent. In the group, Suncor Energy
Inc gained 1.2 percent to C$30.79.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose
0.2 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia added 0.8 percent to
C$55.96.
    Toronto-Dominion Bank said it has agreed to become
the primary credit card issuer for Aeroplan, an air travel
loyalty program owned by Aimia, which could end rival
CIBC's long-standing partnership with Aeroplan.
    Aimia's shares were up 11.1 percent at C$15.46. CIBC 
fell 0.3 percent to C$74.73, and TD rose 0.5 percent to C$83.82.
    The telecoms group, the only sector to decline, slipped 0.1
percent. Telus Corp gave back 2.3 percent to C$29.99.
    Despite Thursday's gains, the benchmark Canadian index is
still down 3.4 percent since the start of the year.
    The sentiment for Canadian stocks is "mediocre at best,"
Petursson said. "I don't think investors are embracing Canadian
equities as they once used to."
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