CANADA STOCKS-China data pushes TSX higher as commodities gain
* TSX rises 45.37 points, or 0.37 percent, to 12,458.10 * Five of 10 main index sectors advance * BCE, Telus, Canadian Natural drop after results * Canadian Tire jumps after move to seek credit-card partner By John Tilak TORONTO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday as surprisingly strong trade data from China boosted sentiment in the resource-heavy market and lifted shares of mining companies. Investors also tried to digest a flood of earnings results, with reports from BCE Inc, Telus Corp, Manulife Financial Corp and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd weighing on those stocks. Persisting concerns about the Federal Reserve's plans for its monetary stimulus program cast a shadow on the market. But the prices of badly beaten-down commodities like gold and silver found higher ground after the news from China. "There should be a bit of a rebound in commodity prices, but not too much," said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities. Investors are still "very nervous," he said, adding that they need to see evidence of sustained economic activity in China. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 45.37 points, or 0.37 percent, at 12,458.10. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, climbed 3.3 percent, with gold producers leading the gains. Barrick Gold Corp jumped nearly 4 percent to C$16.89, and Goldcorp Inc added 3 percent to C$26.95. The two stocks had the biggest positive influence on the index. Shares of Teck Resources Ltd and Potash Corp also rose. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd shot up 14.5 percent to C$5.23 after Rio Tinto agreed to provide the company with $600 million in financing for its Oyu Tolgoi mining project in Mongolia. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, advanced 0.4 percent. Sun Life Financial Inc was up 2.4 percent at C$33.79 after the insurer late Wednesday reported a surge in quarterly profit. But rival Manulife stumbled after its second-quarter earnings missed market estimates. Canadian Natural shed 1.1 percent after its quarterly net earnings fell from a year ago. Telus slipped 0.8 percent to C$30.86 and BCE lost 0.6 percent to C$42.30 after results from the two telecoms providers disappointed investors. Canadian Tire Corp jumped 6.7 percent to C$89.06 after the retailer said it would seek a financial partner for its C$4.4 billion credit card portfolio to reduce funding risks.
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