CANADA STOCKS-China data pushes TSX higher as commodities gain

Thu Aug 8, 2013 11:26am EDT

* 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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