CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs for 8th day as Barrick, Goldcorp gain

Reuters

* TSX rises 23.36 points, or 0.17 percent, to 13,923.85 * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance * Teck, Cenovus, Manulife, Bombardier drop after results * Barrick, Goldcorp climb despite reporting losses By John Tilak TORONTO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was up for an eighth day in an earnings-driven session on Thursday as strength in shares of Barrick Gold Corp and Goldcorp Inc offset a string of disappointing quarterly results.

Sharp declines in Teck Resources Ltd, Cenovus Energy Inc, Manulife Financial Corp and Bombardier Inc exerted downward pressure on the market.

But gains in the shares of Barrick and Goldcorp, the world's two biggest gold miners, even though both reported quarterly losses, helped the index overcome the broad weakness.

"The market remains nervous. I'm not expecting to see any real direction in the near term," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management. "I wouldn't be surprised, given the runup we've had last year, to see a correction at some point." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 23.36 points, or 0.17 percent, at 13,923.85.

Sprung said he expects a high level of market volatility in 2014 but sees the TSX ending the year higher. The Canadian benchmark index has outperformed the S&P 500 so far this year.

Investors also digested data on Thursday that showed a rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week. Separate figures showed U.S. retail sales fell in January, missing expectations, as cold weather had an impact. [ID: nL2N0LH244] Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, climbed 0.3 percent, with gains in banks offsetting weakness in Manulife. Royal Bank of Canada advanced 0.6 percent to C$70.96.

Manulife reported a 20 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, but that fell short of estimates. Shares of the country's biggest life insurer were down 1.3 percent at C$20.63.

Cenovus Energy's quarterly operating profit missed market expectations as production at its Foster Creek oil sands project in northern Alberta dropped 11 percent. The stock slipped 2.8 percent to C$28.82.

Teck shed 6.1 percent to C$26.17 after the diversified miner reported a lower quarterly operating profit.

Plane and train maker Bombardier posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit due to a fall in gross margins and forecast a slowdown in revenue growth at its rail unit this year.

One of the big gainers in Toronto was Verde Potash PLC , which soared for a second straight day ahead of an announcement next week on Brazilian government funding for agriculture-related projects. Shares of Verde, which is developing a potash mine in Brazil, jumped 30 percent to 70 Canadian cents, following a 52 percent rise the previous session.

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