CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits three-week high as resources bounce back

Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:12pm EDT

* TSX rises 65.22 points, or 0.52 percent, to 12,704.52
    * Six of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Suncor has biggest positive influence on market
    * Telecoms providers jump on news of Verizon delay

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
rebounded to hit a three-week high on Thursday as rising
commodity prices boosted shares of energy and materials
companies and offset uncertainty over how soon the U.S. Federal
Reserve will scale back its stimulus measures.
    An advance in the telecommunications sector also provided
support for the market after a report that U.S. giant Verizon
Communications Inc might delay its entry to Canada. The
news lifted the shares of Canada's three dominant wireless
players: Rogers Communications Inc, Telus Corp 
and BCE Inc. 
    The price of bullion surged more than 2 percent, spurring a
jump in shares of gold miners. And increasing tensions in the
Middle East drove the price of oil to a four-month high.
    The Toronto index, whose gains on Thursday contrasted with a
sharp fall in U.S. stocks, has managed to outperform the S&P 500
 in August to date, despite trailing its U.S. counterpart
all year. 
    "There's a section of the market that's jumping into the
resource stocks with a belief that perhaps the worst is over,"
said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at
Global Securities in Vancouver.
    "I can't remember the last day when you had a daily
divergence of this extent," Picardo said of the differing
fortunes of the U.S. and Canadian indexes. "Perhaps the thesis
that the TSX will outperform U.S. stocks in the second half of
the year is off to a good start."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 65.22 points, or 0.52 percent, at 12,704.52,
its highest level since July 25. 
    U.S. stock markets fell as investors interpreted positive
U.S. economic data as a sign that the wind-down of the Fed's
stimulus program is imminent. Figures showed that the number of
Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to near a
six-year low last week and consumer prices rose broadly in July.
 
    "It's not a question of if but when," said John Ing,
president of Maison Placements Canada. "There's no consensus
other than the fact that it's going to happen."
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on
Thursday.
    A 5.5 percent jump in shares of gold miners helped lift the
materials group 3.8 percent. Goldcorp Inc shot up 6.2
percent to C$32.23, and Barrick Gold Corp added 6
percent to C$20.43. 
    Energy producers climbed 1.2 percent, helped by advances in
oil prices and in shares of Suncor Energy Inc.
    Suncor, whose shares rose 3.5 percent to C$34.97, benefited
from a regulatory disclosure showing Berkshire Hathaway Inc
 had taken a new stake in Canada's biggest energy
company. The stock had the biggest positive influence on the
index.
    Telecoms stocks jumped 2.9 percent on the Verizon report.
Telus gained 4.8 percent to C$32.21, Rogers was up 5 percent at
C$42.45, and BCE climbed 1.7 percent to C$42.50.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
dropped 0.4 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank lost 0.6
percent to C$86.75, and Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.1
percent to C$63.86.
    The industrials group slid 0.7 percent, with Canadian
National Railway Co down 0.5 percent at C$100.72.
    Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd slipped 1.3 percent to
C$124.84. The government of Quebec added CP Rail to the list of
companies it says should help pay cleanup costs from the oil
tanker train disaster at the town of Lac Megantic in July that
killed 47 people. CP said it will appeal the decision.
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