CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on upbeat data, on track for monthly gain

Reuters

* TSX rises 57.29 points, or 0.40 percent, at 14,272.03 * Six of 10 main index sectors advance * Index up about 4.2 percent this month * Mega Brands shares jump after takeover bid By John Tilak TORONTO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced on Friday as data showed economic growth and stability in Canada and the United States, putting it on track for the strongest monthly gain since October.

The Toronto market is up about 4.8 percent this year, rebounding strongly from a selloff in January that was triggered by concerns about emerging market growth.

Government data showed that Canadian economic growth beat market expectations in the fourth quarter of 2013. In the United States, data indicated the world's biggest economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter.

"It just gives confirmation that things in the U.S. continue to move in the right direction," said Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset Management.

"The overall sentiment in the marketplace is to buy the dips, embrace the risk and embrace the economic environment that continues to show improvement, not only in North America but around the world," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 57.29 points, or 0.40 percent, at 14,272.03. The Canadian benchmark index is up about 4.2 percent this month.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada climbed 0.5 percent to C$72.76, and Toronto Dominion Bank gained 0.8 percent to C$50.15.

Shares of energy producers rose 0.6 percent, shrugging off declines in the price of oil. Suncor Energy Inc was up 0.6 percent at C$36.78, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd advanced 0.5 percent to C$40.60.

In corporate news, toymaker Mattel Inc said it agreed to buy Mega Brands Inc for about $460 million, including debt. Shares of Mega Brands jumped 35.7 percent to C$17.74.

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