CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on U.S. data, China; BlackBerry tumbles

Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:33pm EDT

* TSX rises 81.88 points, or 0.58 percent, to 14,260.72
    * Five of 10 main index sectors advance
    * BlackBerry drops 6.5 percent
    * BRP drops 10.9 percent after providing outlook

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Friday as positive U.S. economic data and hopes of a Chinese
government stimulus helped drive up shares of natural resource
companies.
    But one sore spot was a 6.5 percent drop in shares of
BlackBerry after the company reported a quarterly loss
and a sharp drop in revenue as its smartphone sales continued to
slide. 
    The market was encouraged by data showing a rise in U.S.
consumer spending in February, following a wave of upbeat
numbers that suggested the economy in the first quarter was
shaping up stronger than some people had expected.
 
    China's Premier Li Keqiang said that Beijing was ready to
support the world's second-biggest economy, a major market for
Canada's natural resources, and signaled a willingness to drive
infrastructure investment. 
    "I call it 'QE brunch coming to China'," said Adrian
Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management. "Now all
of a sudden China is on the stimulus bandwagon."
    "It means that the economy is not doing well on its own," he
added. "However, investors interpret it as bailing them out."
    But appetite for Canadian equities remains fairly strong,
said Mastracci.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 81.88 points, or 0.58 percent, at 14,260.72,
after declining in the previous two sessions. It is up about 4.7
percent this year.
    Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Friday.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced
1.3 percent. Goldcorp Inc added 1.2 percent to C$27.79,
and Barrick Gold Corp climbed 1.5 percent to C$20.24.
    Shares of energy producers received a boost from higher oil
prices. Suncor Energy Inc rose 2.6 percent to C$38.19,
and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was up 0.7 percent
at C$42.09.
    In corporate news, BRP Inc forecast a
lower-than-expected full-year profit. Shares of the snowmobile
maker shed 10.9 percent to C$28.40. 
    BlackBerry was trading at C$9.31, helping drag the
information technology sector down 1.1 percent.
    ($1=$1.11 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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