Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Gold Stocks Push Toronto Stock Market Modestly Higher amid Fed Concerns

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Gold Stocks Push Toronto Stock Market Modestly Higher amid Fed Concerns

Article excerpt

TSX higher amid Fed concerns, Chinese data

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TORONTO - Gold and energy stocks helped push the Toronto stock market to a minor gain Tuesday.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 11.23 points to 13,324.01.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.28 of a cent at 94.31 cents US.

Continued uncertainty over what the U.S. Federal Reserve may do about its asset purchase program continued to keep the lid on enthusiasm.

New York's Dow Jones industrials fell 52.4 points to 15,973.13, while the Nasdaq was 8.26 points lower at 4,060.49 and the S&P 500 slipped 5.75 points to 1,802.62.

Investors have been hoping that the Fed wouldn't start tapering its US$85 billion of bond purchases until well into 2014. But a slate of strong economic data last week raised speculation that the U.S. central bank could act a lot faster, maybe as early as next week when the Fed makes its next announcement on interest rates.

"Because of the data being positive there is that chance," said Sid Mokhtari, a market technician at CIBC World Markets.

"We think it probably won't happen until next year, January or March. Don't think they would do anything at this point of the year and they will probably wait for (incoming Fed chair Janet) Yellen to take over properly next year."

The TSX gold sector ran ahead almost four per cent as February bullion gained $26.90 to US$1,261.10 an ounce despite the heightened Fed speculation. The central bank's quantitative easing efforts had pushed gold as high as US$1,900 in 2011 as investors thought the massive bond buying program would drive inflation higher.

Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) improved by 90 cents to C$17.91 while Goldcorp (TSX:G) climbed 68 cents to $23.08.

Tech stocks were generally higher with CGI Group (TSX:GIB.A) up $1.15 to $82.65. BlackBerry stock (TSX:BB) was at its lowest level in more than a decade, but closed up 21 cents to $6.32 after going as low as $5.79.

The energy sector rose 0.3 per cent as the January crude contract moved ahead $1.17 to US$98.51 a barrel, its highest close since Oct. 28, amid optimism that data out Wednesday will show another sizable drawdown of American crude inventories. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) climbed 38 cents to C$34. …

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