CANADA STOCKS-Strong resources drive TSX; telecoms wilt

Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:33pm EDT

* TSX up 81.43 points, or 0.61 percent, to 13,324.75
    * Six of the 10 main sub groups advance
    * Materials group up 2.9 percent; telecoms down 1.2 percent


    By Cameron French
    TORONTO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index pushed
higher on Thursday as gold issues were driven by strong results
and higher bullion prices, more than making up for telecom
stocks that weakened on concerns about growth in the sector.
    Gold, which is down 20 percent this year, hit a one-month
high on expectations of continued stimulus from the U.S. Federal
Reserve. U.S. crude futures also strengthened.
    "From a commodity point of view, that helped to feed the
market to some degree," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung
Investment Management.
    Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd shot up 18.5 percent to
C$31.82, after the gold producer posted stronger-than-expected
quarterly results and raised its full-year production forecast.
Larger rival Goldcorp gained 4.5 percent to C$27.76, also
on robust results.  
    The TSX material subgroup, which includes TSX precious and
base metals producers, surged 2.9 percent.
    Also driving the materials group was coal and base metals
miner Teck Resources on the back of strong results.
Its shares gained 3.8 percent to C$30.54. 
    A 1.6 percent drop in Potash Corp shares to C$32.41
tempered the group's gains. The fertilizer producer reported a
sharp drop in third-quarter earnings and cut its full-year
outlook more than expected. 
    Six of the ten TSX subgroups ended the session higher.
    The heavily-weighted energy group climbed 0.9 percent, led
by Husky Energy, which climbed 1.6 percent to C$29.68,
and Canadian Natural Resources which advanced 1.6
percent to C$33.06.
    All told, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite
index unofficially closed up 81.43 points, or 0.61
percent, at 13,324.75.
    The index has been on fire over the past two weeks, climbing
nearly 5 percent and trading at its highest level in more than
two years due in part to expectations of continued Fed stimulus.
    Thursday's surprise signal by the Bank of Canada that it
will not raise interest rates in the near future also likely
helped, although Sprung believes the stock rally is likely
overdone, and took little comfort from the Bank of Canada's
move.
    "I think there's enough concern that this economy could
falter, and certainly I think yesterday's announcement to sort
of hold rates down for a while is some evidence of the fragility
of this recovery," he said.
    Among individual movers, Canadian patent licensing company
WiLan Inc dove 22.6 percent to C$3.16 after a jury
ruled that Apple did not infringe a patent it held,
leading several analysts to downgrade their view of the stock.
 
    While the corporate results on the resource side were
largely positive, among telecom stocks, the results were a
weight. 
    Shaw Communications Inc retreated 3.4 percent to
C$24.48 after it reported a smaller fourth-quarter profit, while
rival Rogers Communications Inc eased 2.7 percent to
C$45.83 after it reported weaker revenue at its wireless unit.
]  As a group, the telecoms fell
1.2 percent.
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