CANADA STOCKS-Gold miners, banks push TSX to record close

Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:15pm EDT

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(Adds portfolio manager comment, updates prices to close)
    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, July 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
showed no signs of slowing its ascent into uncharted territory
on Friday, with gold miners and banks helping it to another
record close and a 1.2 percent gain in a week of all-time highs.
    With the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 still relatively underperforming U.S. indices,
investors are confident that economic fundamentals underpin the
rally, despite worries of a pullback.
    "In the grand scheme of things I'm fairly comfortable with
valuations," said Marcus Xu, a portfolio manager at MY Capital
Management Corp in Vancouver. 
    "The overall theme is that emerging markets seem to be doing
OK," Xu said. "On the back of that notion commodities are doing
fairly well."
    Canada's stock market relies on natural resource names for
much of its bulk, and signs of global recovery help those stocks
on the expectation that demand will pick up. 
    Major gold miners were among the biggest positive
contributors in the session, with Goldcorp Inc jumping
4.2 percent to C$30.51 and Barrick Gold Corp adding 2.8
percent to C$20.20.
    Rick Hutcheon, president at RKH Investments, said that
equities are likely to remain more popular than fixed income
while interest rates are low and looking to rise, and that
energy and financial stocks are well placed to gain from global
recovery and higher rates.
    "There really aren't a whole lot of choices until the Fed
starts to raise rates, which as an aside appears to be still a
year-ish away," he said, referring to the U.S. Federal Reserve.
    Some of Canada's biggest banks also helped the push on
Friday, with Toronto-Dominion Bank up 1.2 percent to
C$56.52 and Royal Bank of Canada gaining 0.7 percent to
C$79.89.
    Shares in TransForce Inc jumped 10.5 percent to
C$27.82 after the transportation and logistics company said late
on Thursday it planned to buy freight transport company Contrans
Group Inc for C$495 million.
    Among resource stocks, Potash Corp gained 1.3
percent to C$39.42 on evidence that fertilizer demand was
improving.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended up 60.59 points, or 0.39 percent, at 15,455.04,
its fourth straight session hitting an intra-day record high.
The index gained 1.2 percent for the week.
    Earlier in the week, geopolitical disturbances in Ukraine
and the Middle East forced a minor retreat, but RKH's Hutcheon
said those risks are unlikely to affect sentiment again without
a major escalation.
    Canada said on Thursday it would impose sanctions on a range
of Russian firms and banks to punish Moscow for what it said was
the illegal occupation of Crimea and "provocative military
activity" in eastern Ukraine. 

 (Editing by James Dalgleish and Grant McCool)
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