CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher after U.S. data, earnings; miners drop

Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:53pm EDT

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* TSX rises 19.49 points, or 0.14 percent, to 14,303.92
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Scotiabank shares rise; lender says keen on Mexico

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, April 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
edged higher on Tuesday after upbeat U.S. economic data and
corporate results helped offset worries about increasing
instability in Ukraine and a sharp decline in gold-mining
shares.
    Data showed a slightly greater-than-expected gain in U.S.
consumer prices in March, driven by food and rental housing
costs. Gains in shares of Coca-Cola Co and Johnson &
Johnson after their earnings reports brightened the
overall mood. 
    The market brushed aside news that Russia declared Ukraine
on the brink of civil war as Kiev said an "anti-terrorist
operation" against pro-Moscow separatists was under way, with
troops and armored personnel carriers seen near a flashpoint
eastern town. 
    Investor sentiment appeared to be turning positive after
global stock markets fell last week on concerns about
overextended valuations and worries about the U.S. Federal
Reserve's monetary policy. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index advanced for a
second straight session, after declining 1 percent last week. It
is up about 5 percent this year.
    "There is still some concern about high valuations in the
market, but that's being offset by strong earnings," said Elvis
Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global
Securities in Vancouver.
    "The market has largely been supported by monetary policy
and corporate earnings in North America," he added. "The
question is, where do we go from here?"
    Picardo expects the TSX to outperform the S&P 500 
this year.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 19.49 points, or 0.14 percent, at 14,303.92.
    "The market is still reasonably priced," said David
Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland
Wealth Management. "I do think that the TSX is probably going to
move on to new highs. The energy sector is really gathering
momentum, and that could well drive the market."
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Tuesday.
    Energy shares added 0.2 percent. Canadian Natural Resources
Ltd added 1.1 percent to C$43.77, though Suncor Energy
Inc shed 0.3 percent to C$39.37.
    The financial sector, the index's most heavily weighted
group, was up 0.3 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia climbed
0.4 percent to C$64.63.
    In related news, Scotiabank's head of international banking
said he sees Mexico as the bank's most promising growth
territory and is not deterred by a money-laundering scandal
there involving Citigroup's Banamex unit. 
    Gold-mining shares reflected a selloff in the price of
bullion. The sector was down 2.1 percent, with Barrick Gold Corp
 losing 1.3 percent to C$20.37 and Goldcorp Inc 
declining 2 percent to C$26.

 (Editing by Peter Galloway and Leslie Adler)
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