CANADA STOCKS-TSX closes in on three-year high as BlackBerry, miners gain

Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:55pm EST

* TSX rises 90.64 points, or 0.64 percent, to 14,210.37
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * BlackBerry jumps more than 4 percent after Facebook move
    * Loblaw up 4.8 percent after quarterly report
    * TransCanada slips 2.1 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
reached its highest in nearly 3 years on Thursday, buoyed by a
jump in shares of gold miners and in BlackBerry 
following Facebook Inc's planned acquisition of
mobile-messaging service WhatsApp.
    The move by Facebook raised investor hopes that BlackBerry's
own messaging platform might have been undervalued. Shares of
the smartphone maker jumped 4.1 percent. 
    Providing further support were figures from the United
States that showed manufacturing activity picked up pace in
February to record its fastest growth in nearly four years.
Separate data indicated that the number of Americans filing new
claims for unemployment benefits fell last week. 
    The Toronto market, which is benefiting from rising optimism
for equities, climbed for a 12th straight session and has gained
about 4.3 percent this year. 
     "There's no denying that appetite for equities has come
back in a big way," said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global
Securities, who added that investors were also exercising
caution. 
    "Investors are not rushing out and buying everything they
can get their hands on," he said. "A great deal of attention is
paid to earnings. Fundamentals are still reigning."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 90.64 points, or 0.64 percent, at 14,210.37.
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.6 percent to
C$72.80, and Toronto Dominion Bank gained 0.7 percent to
C$49.84. 
    Shares of gold producers jumped 4.4 percent. Barrick Gold
Corp shot up 6.3 percent to C$23.29, and Goldcorp Inc
 gained 4.1 percent to C$30.71.
    In corporate news, TransCanada Corp said it is
considering how to proceed with its Keystone XL pipeline, a day
after a court voided the Nebraska governor's decision to allow
the controversial line to pass through the Midwestern state. The
stock gave back 2.1 percent, to C$48.83. 
    Loblaw Cos Ltd added 4.8 percent, to C$44.29, after
the grocery chain's quarterly profit beat market expectations as
gross margins improved.
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