CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher as investors eye Fed meeting

Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:16am EST

* TSX rises 19.17 points, or 0.15 percent, to 13,203.52
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Athabasca stumbles after releasing 2014 spending plans

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged
higher on Tuesday, with gains in financials offsetting weakness
in gold miners, as investors wondered whether the U.S. Federal
Reserve would announce a reduction in its bond buying program at
a policy meeting.
    Fed officials meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the
state of the world's biggest economy and determine whether it is
strong enough to warrant the rollback in monetary stimulus.  
    "It's a coin toss. Nobody really knows what's going to come
out of the Fed meeting," said Colin Cieszynski, senior market
analyst at CMC Markets Canada. "It's one of those things that
could really go either way."
    "We're so dependent on the U.S. economy and U.S. money flow
that just as U.S. traders have sitting on their hands, so are
Canadians," he added.
     A trimming in the U.S. central bank's asset purchases is
expected to weigh on North American equities, at least in the
near term, given interest rates are likely to rise in such a
scenario, possibly drawing some investors out of stocks and into
interest-rate related markets.
    On Tuesday, the Toronto equities market advanced for a third
straight session, recovering partly from a sharp selloff last
week when a stream of upbeat U.S. economic data suggested that
the Fed might have more reasons to begin paring its bond
purchases.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 19.17 points, or 0.15 percent, at 13,203.52.
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The financial sector recorded some gains, rising 0.3
percent. Toronto Dominion Bank advanced 0.4 percent to
C$96.01, and Bank of Nova Scotia added 0.4 percent to
C$63.63.
    With the price of bullion dropping 1 percent, shares of gold
miners gave back 0.5 percent. Goldcorp Inc lost 0.9
percent to C$22.46.
    In corporate news, Saputo Inc raised its bid for
Australia's Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Co
, aiming to knock out its rivals with a final sweetened
offer. Saputo's stock was little changed, trading at C$47.15.
 
    Shares of Athabasca Oil Corp slipped 1.8 percent,
to C$6.45, after the oil producer said it planned to spend 42
percent less in 2014 to develop its assets.
FILED UNDER: