* TSX ends up 7.55 points, or 0.06 percent, at 12,296.72
* Index notched a 1.1 percent gain for the week
* Dundee jumps 13.7 pct on real estate spin-off plan
* Global data paints picture of uneven recovery
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Dec 14 The main Canadian stock index
edged higher on Friday as healthy Chinese data provided a shot
in the arm for mining companies, obscuring a broader decline as
investors retreated over stalled U.S. budget talks.
China's vast manufacturing sector expanded in December at
its fastest pace in 14 months as new orders and employment rose,
a survey showed on Friday.
"Materials did well; financials, oil and gas, just about
everything else was off," said Pat McHugh, Canadian equity
strategist at Manulife Asset Management, crediting the Chinese
data with boosting the materials sector, which includes miners.
Evidence that China's speedy growth trajectory is getting
back on track is typically positive for Canada, which provides
the giant Asian economy with raw materials.
Fertilizer company Potash Corp gained 1.1 percent
to C$40.44 and Teck Resources Ltd rose 2.1 percent to
C$35.28. Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's biggest energy
company, added 1.4 percent to C$32.12, making it the most
positive influence on the index.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended up 7.55 points, or 0.06 percent, at 12,296.72.
It notched a 1.1 percent gain for the week.
Dundee Corp shares jumped 13.7 percent to C$30.47
after the asset manager said it would spin off its real estate
"It's clearly a nice way to unlock value and I'm sure we
haven't seen the last of that," McHugh said of the deal.
Balanced against the broad rise in miners, most other
sectors recorded net losses, with energy companies weighing most
heavily, even with Suncor's gains.
Encana Corp lost 4.3 percent to C$19.96, falling
back after rising on Thursday with the announcement of a joint
venture with PetroChina Co Ltd.
Canadian resource stocks had a mixed reaction this week to
Ottawa's approval of two big deals and the clarification of its
stance on state-owned enterprise investment in the oil sands.
"It just reinforces that this business is capital intensive
and the ones with the capital are the Chinese," said John Ing,
president of Maison Placements Canada. "We're going to see more
of it, so it's good that we didn't put up higher barriers to
GLOBAL PICTURE MIXED
A slew of global data provided an uneven picture of economic
recovery and stagnation, with Europe seemingly stuck in a
low-growth mode and China and the United States showing signs of
"The one that people seem to be missing is the uptick in
some of the Chinese growth numbers," Ing said, adding that much
attention was still focused on negotiations to solve a looming
U.S. budget crisis.
President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker
John Boehner held a "frank" face-to-face meeting on Thursday in
an effort to break an impasse in talks to avert the "fiscal
cliff" of steep tax increases and spending cuts, which kick in
early in 2013.
Frustration is mounting over the lack of progress in
negotiations that have become bogged down in a daily round of
finger-pointing. If a deal is not reached, many
economists believe the U.S. economy will fall back into
recession, which would hurt Canadian businesses that sell into
the world's largest economy.
Canadian manufacturing sales plunged by 1.4 percent in
October from September in the latest sign the economy is
struggling to cope with market problems abroad and due to the
effect of a strong Canadian dollar.
The domestic data was at odds with numbers from the United
States that showed demand picking up.
In Europe, disappointing German manufacturing sector data
and a rise in euro zone unemployment overshadowed a small
pick-up in wider purchasing manager data.