* TSX rises 18.28 points, or 0.14 percent, to 13,504.48
* Five of 10 main index sectors advance
* WestJet jumps after quarterly report
* Canadian Tire, Loblaw slip after Wal-Mart Canada move
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 4 Canada's main stock index ended
in positive territory on Tuesday, firming slightly after a sharp
loss in the previous session, as a jump in the price of U.S.
crude oil boosted shares of energy producers.
But declines in some retail shares helped keep a check on
those gains as investors were unable to shrug off a wave of
uncertainty that has been gaining momentum in recent weeks.
Sluggish economic data from the United States and China
darkened the market's mood on Monday, when the Toronto Stock
Exchange's benchmark index fell more than 200 points and hit a
Global markets have been jittery of late with sentiment hit
by concerns about some emerging-market currencies and economies
and by the U.S. Federal Reserve's scaling back of its stimulus
Volatility in Argentina's peso and Turkey's lira currencies
as well as signs of a slowdown in China have made investors wary
of riskier assets. Investors also digested news that Standard &
Poor's cut its credit rating on Puerto Rico to junk-bond status.
"People have become more cognizant of risk," said Elvis
Picardo, a strategist at Global Securities. "When growth
concerns start resurfacing, the TSX bears the brunt of those
"But we don't want to see panic selling to set in, which
becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy," he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 18.28 points, or 0.14 percent, at 13,504.48.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the index closed in positive
Energy shares rose 0.8 percent, with U.S. crude oil
gaining 1 percent. In the group, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
climbed 2.3 percent to C$36.98, and Encana Corp jumped
4.3 percent to C$20.44.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, added
0.5 percent. Teck Resources Ltd rose 0.3 percent to
C$26.36, and Goldcorp Inc gained 1.2 percent to C$27.82.
In corporate news, WestJet Airlines Ltd reported an
11 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit and raised its
dividend. The stock was up 3.4 percent at C$25.70.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it planned to invest about
C$500 million ($452.35 million) this year to expand in Canada,
weighing on shares of domestic rivals. Canadian Tire
dropped 1.2 percent to C$93.71, and Loblaw Cos Ltd
slipped 0.2 percent to C$42.32.