* TSX up 38.88 points, or 0.31 percent at 12,641.97
* Eight of 10 main index sectors rise
* Barrick Gold, Goldcorp gain on production milestone
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Jan 15 Canada's main stock index
touched a 10-1/2 month high on Tuesday, led by Barrick Gold Corp
and Goldcorp Inc, which rose on news that their
joint-venture Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic
had achieved commercial production.
Stronger-than-expected December retail sales data out of the
United States also contributed to the market's sixth straight
session of gains. The stronger retail figures were seen as a
favorable signal of fourth-quarter growth.
"Today, the positive was the retail numbers out of the U.S.
looked pretty good. That sort of carried the market up once they
came out," said Brian Pow, vice president, research, and equity
analyst at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary.
Barrick rose 1.07 percent to C$34.03 after the miner said it
had achieved commercial production at Pueblo Viejo.
The mine, one of the largest new gold projects
in the world, is a joint venture with Goldcorp, which rose 1.18
percent to C$36.86.
The materials group, which includes miners and makes up
nearly 20 percent of the index, gained 0.56 percent. Gold prices
were up 0.7 percent.
Fellow gold miner Kinross Gold Inc added 2.91 percent
to finish at C$9.56 and was among the top five heavyweight
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
rose 38.88 points, or 0.31 percent, to 12,641.97, its
highest close since March 2, 2012. All but two index sectors
ended in positive territory.
"Generally, it's a pretty positive mood today," said Pow,
adding that the trend would likely be sustainable over the near
"You're constantly going to get yanked back and forth just
by whatever piece of news comes out. That's just how the
market's behaving right now. It's very emotional," he said.
The positive tone was tempered by Monday's news that U.S.
President Barack Obama would reject any negotiations with
Republicans over raising the U.S. borrowing limit.
That temporarily pulled the Toronto market off
highs spurred by the U.S. budget deal at the start the month
that averted the "fiscal cliff" of massive tax hikes and
"The debt ceiling debate is likely to be even more heated.
As a result, markets are skittish on the prospect of that," said
Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St.
"Ultimately some resolution, some deal will be struck to
avoid U.S. defaults. But it's not going to come without
theatrics in the meantime," he added. "From now until late
February, we are likely to get more volatility in the markets."
The heavily weighted financial sector, which make up nearly
a third of the index, recouped earlier losses to finish up 0.17
Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.36 percent at C$61.24,
but Manulife Financial Corp gave back 1.4 percent to
The technology group was down 1.05 percent, pressured by a
2.93 percent retreat in Research In Motion shares. RIM
closed at C$14.27 after investor optimism over the upcoming
launch of the BlackBerry 10 had pushed the stock up nearly 29
percent over the three previous sessions.