Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TSX Closes Up: Financials Claw Back Losses, Miners Benefit from Chinese Data

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TSX Closes Up: Financials Claw Back Losses, Miners Benefit from Chinese Data

Article excerpt

Gold stocks, financials push TSX higher

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TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed higher Monday as investors bought up battered gold miners along with financial stocks that slipped last week in the wake of earnings reports from the big banks.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 32.06 points to 13,312.78, also supported by base metal miners that benefited from Chinese trade data.

The Canadian dollar closed up 0.19 of a cent to 94.03 cents US amid a weak housing report.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said that housing starts came in at an annualized rate of 192,235 units in November, a decrease from 198,161 in October. It was also less than the 195,000 reading that economists had expected.

U.S. indexes were little changed after surging at the end of last week on a strong slate of economic data , capped off by U.S. data showing strong job growth last month.

The Dow Jones industrials were 5.33 points higher to 16,025.53, the Nasdaq gained 6.23 points to 4,068.75 and the S&P 500 index was up 3.28 points to 1,808.37.

While the data was a welcome sign that the American economic revival remains on track, it also raised concerns that the Federal Reserve is prepared to start winding up its asset buying program sooner than thought, perhaps as early as next week when Fed members meet.

"We saw the markets really drifting lower throughout the week on this premise that the economic data was looking good enough to maybe necessitate a Fed move earlier than expected," said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets specialist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

"Then we get good news on Friday (which) had all the makings of the 'good news is bad news' scenario but I think we saw a bit of transition where investors were embracing good news a bit more."

Speculation about tapering those US$85 billion of bond purchases has weighed on markets as the stimulus has kept long-term rates low and supported a strong rally on equity markets this year.

The gold sector ran ahead about two per cent while February gold added $5.20 to US$1,234.20 an ounce. Barrick Gold. (TSX:ABX) advanced 63 cents to C$17.01.

Guyana Goldfields Inc. (TSX:GUY) has revised up the total capital cost of its Aurora Gold project to US$249 million and approved a spending plan to bring it to commercial production. However, the new estimate is well below an earlier estimate, after the company scaled back its plans earlier this year. …

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