CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher on earnings, data, copper

* Materials, industrials, bank shares all higher

* CN profit outlook boosts sentiment

(Updates to close)

By Cameron French

TORONTO, July 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index
ended a choppy session higher on Friday, capping off a strong
week on the back of positive economic signals and a batch of
solid North American earnings.

Copper rallied to a two-month high, helping drive Canadian
mining issues higher, while a strong profit forecast at
Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO: ) strengthened confidence that
second-quarter earnings period would be a boon to investors’
confidence.

“There was a lot (of gains) on the back of CN having a
fairly good number and raising their profit out for the year, a
signal the economy might be in a little better shape,” said
Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.

The news bumped CN shares up 2 percent to C$64.98, and
helped drive the TSX industrial sector up 1.1 percent, the
strongest of the 10 TSX subgroups. Overall eight subgroups were
higher.

The investor mood also benefited from a new round of solid
U.S. corporate results, including Verizon Communications Inc.
(VZ.N: ), and a dividend hike by General Electric Co. (GE.N: ).

Strong U.S. earnings helped the Dow Jones industrial
average power to triple-digit gains on Thursday, allowing the
TSX main index to finish the week with a 1.2 percent five-day
gain.

Sprung said corporate earnings will continue to be the
focus going forward, as more Canadian companies report over the
next few weeks.

All told, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite
index (.GSPTSE: ) ended the session up 46.45 points, or 0.4
percent, at 11,714.63.

The strong copper price was boosted by fund buying amid
economic optimism, helping push the TSX materials sector up 0.5
percent, despite slightly weaker gold prices.

Sherritt International (S.TO: ), a Cuba-focused base metals
miner, rose 5.3 percent to C$6.93, while diversified miner Teck
Resources (TCKb.TO: ) gained 1.6 percent to C$37.

“China is now taking more of a growth stance over an
inflation concern stance right now,” said Rick Meslin, head of
Canadian equities at UBS Securities Canada.

“That’s a constructive market as far as I’m concerned,
especially in Canada, where materials are such an emphasis.”

Heavily-weighted financial shares gained 0.4 percent as
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: ) added 1.7 percent to
C$68.40 and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: ) rose 1.2 percent to
C$61.78.

On the economic side, Statistics Canada said moderating
energy prices helped slow Canada’s annual inflation rate in
June from May, suggesting the central bank has breathing room
to take a gradual approach to future interest rate hikes.

Investing Analysis

($1=$1.04 Canadian)
(Reporting by Cameron French, additional reporting by Claire
Sibonney; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher on earnings, data, copper