CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher but gold miners weigh

* TSX up 0.18 percent at 13,190.97

* Gold miners nearly offset broad overall gains

* BCE lifts dividend, shares rise
(Adds details)

TORONTO, Dec 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index was
moderately higher on Friday morning as confidence was spurred
by strong Chinese economic data but gold-mining issues were
pressured by healthier U.S. data.

After seesawing at the open, nine of the index’s 10 sectors
pushed higher, but their rise was counterbalanced by a 0.6
percent drop in the heavyweight materials group.

Gold miners, a big component of the materials sector, were
top decliners, with Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: ) off 1 percent at
C$53.39, and Goldcorp (G.TO: ) down 1.2 percent at C$46.25.

The price of gold fell on Friday after China raised bank
reserve requirements and reported robust trade figures, while
U.S. data showed its trade deficit narrowed much more than
expected. [GOL/]

“We got this daily flip-flop with gold and commodities. One
day you’re worried that the U.S. deficit is going to be so big
that you want to hold gold as an alternative…and the next day
you get U.S. economic data that the economy is improving and
maybe things aren’t that bad,” said Barry Schwartz, portfolio
manager at Baskin Financial Services.

“The market is wrestling with that and until it finds a
clear trend, expect gold to be bouncing around.”

At 10:25 a.m. (1525 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s
S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE: ) was up 0.18 percent, or 23.37
points, at 13,190.97.

Market confidence was also supported by data that showed
U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in early
December while an index of current conditions jumped to its
highest level since January 2008, a survey released on Friday
showed. [ID:nN10294524]

Sporting goods retailer Forzani Group (FGL.TO: ) shot up more
than 10 percent the day after it reported a 20 percent rise in
quarterly net earnings, helped by stronger same-store sales and
lower operating costs. Forzani was up 10.3 percent at C$17.40.
[ID:nN09264477]

Harry Winston Diamond (HW.TO: ) skidded more than 9 percent
after the the diamond miner and retailer cut its production
outlook. [ID:nN10295269]

BCE Inc (BCE.TO: ), the country’s biggest communications
company, gained 2.2 percent to C$35.85 after it raised its
annual dividend for 2011 by 7.7 percent and said it plans to
speed up the funding of future pension obligations through a
voluntary prepayment. [ID:nSGE6B908F]

“When a company raises dividends, it signals to you that it
feels its outlook is improving in the coming year,” Schwartz
said.

The financials group, up 0.46 percent, has also been
supported by hopes of dividend raises at the big banks. Several
of the country’s smaller banks have boosted dividends
recently.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)
(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher but gold miners weigh