* TSX rises 45.24 points to 13,234.18
* Nine of 10 sectors stronger, led by energy
* Golds drag on broader materials sector
(Updates with details, commentary)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, June 30 Toronto's main stock index
pushed higher for the fourth straight session on Thursday after
the Greek parliament passed a second austerity bill designed to
prevent a default and U.S. economic data beat expectations.
Powerhouse energy issues led the gains, advancing 0.9
percent as U.S. crude oil prices held above $95 a barrel.
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was the most
influential gainer on the index, climbing 1.4 percent to
C$40.55, while Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) jumped 1.6 percent to
Much of the recent rally has also been attributed to
end-of-quarter window dressing by fund managers, who sell
losers and buy winners to make their portfolios look better.
Philip Petursson, managing director of portfolio advisory
group at Manulife Asset Management, said he expects the
positive flows to continue, though positions are largely in
place for the end of the quarter.
"I think what the markets are doing is breathing a bit of a
sigh of relief on Greece," said Petursson.
The Greek parliament approved detailed austerity and
privatization bills on Thursday in a crucial vote to secure
emergency funds and avert imminent default on its debt, but
longer-term dangers still lurk. [ID:nL6E7HU0SS]
Also encouraging was U.S. data on Thursday that showed
business activity in the Midwest grew more than expected this
month, helped by a jump in new orders, while weekly jobless
claims were flat. [ID:nN1E75T0J8] [ID:nN1E75T07N]
"I think the economic data that we're seeing isn't as dire
as what people had maybe built in their heads in terms of
expectations," he added, noting the temporary impact of supply
chain disruptions out of Japan. "We will see a decent reversal
and more positive economic data in the back half of the year,"
Thursday also marked the official end of the Federal
Reserve's $600 billion bond-buying program, known as QE2,
though market players have indicated the event has been fully
At 10:40 a.m. (1440 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 45.24 points, or 0.34
percent, at 13,234.18.
Nine of the 10 sectors were stronger, including financials,
up 0.4 percent. Base-metal miners rose 1.3 percent as copper
prices rallied, while gold miners skidded 1 percent on the
risk-on mood, taking materials down 0.6 percent. [METL] [GOL/]
Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) was the second most
influential gainer, up 1.4 percent to C$77.35, after an upgrade
to its price target. [ID:nL3E7HU16T]
TMX Group (X.TO) shares were down 0.4 percent at C$44.01, a
day after the London and Toronto stock exchanges canceled plans
to combine forces. That pushed a consortium of Canadian banks
and pension funds into the driver's seat in the takeover battle
for the Toronto Stock Exchange. [ID:nN1E75S1EI]
Shares of Sino-Forest TRE.TO dropped 2.3 percent to
C$2.61 after ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut the
beleaguered Chinese forestry company's corporate credit rating.
SNC-Lavalin Group (SNC.TO) rose 2.1 percent to C$57.74
after the Canadian government said on Wednesday would sell the
nuclear reactor division of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd to the
engineering company for C$15 milion plus royalties.
(Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)