* TSX rises 9.37 points, or 0.08 pct, to 12,382.67
* Six of 10 TSX index sectors rise
* House starts, upgrade to U.S. credit outlook offer support
By Peter N Henderson
TORONTO, June 10 Canada's main stock index
advanced slightly on Monday as an upgrade of the U.S. credit
outlook and strong domestic housing starts helped lift shares of
financial companies, while energy shares rebounded from recent
Standard & Poor's upgraded its credit outlook for the United
States government to "stable" from "negative", reducing the
threat of a further downgrade to the country's sovereign debt
The index's gains were kept in check by data from China that
indicated weakness in May exports and domestic activity
struggling to pick up, increasing the risk that economic growth
will slow further in the second quarter and that full-year
forecasts may be cut.
Monday's gain was a minor recovery after six days of decline
for the TSX index. The energy sector, which has been on the
defensive since mid-May, rose 0.2 percent and played the biggest
role of any sector in the rise. Major gainers included Suncor
Energy Inc, which climbed 0.44 percent to C$31.80.
The TSX financials subgroup added 0.2 percent, helped by
data showing Canadian house starts jumped by much more than
expected in May from April.
Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender,
rose 0.22 percent to C$60.12, and Bank of Montreal was
up 0.85 percent at C$60.63.
E-L Financial jumped 9.5 percent to C$648 after the
holding company said it had sold its Dominion of Canada General
Insurance unit to U.S. insurer Travelers Co for $1.1
"The banks recent earning reports have been on balance very
solid," said Elvis Picardo, vice president of research at Global
Securities. "Given the global decline in the appetite for risky
assets, these groups have been doing well."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 9.37 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,382.67.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained
0.1 percent. Gold producers were up 0.36 percent as the price of
bullion edged higher. Barrick Gold Corp rose
more than 1 percent to C$20.81.
Air Canada said it is moving ahead with plans to
trim its costs by up to some 15 percent over the medium term,
even as it pushes to boost its system capacity over the coming
year. The stock was little changed at C$2.28.