CANADA STOCKS-TSX touches three-week high on U.S. data, Fed

Reuters

* TSX rises 92.75 points, or 0.69 percent, to 13,484.95 * All of 10 main index sectors advance * BlackBerry climbs after posting results * Enbridge up after regulator recommends pipeline approval By John Tilak TORONTO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index jumped on Friday to its highest in three weeks, buoyed by bullish U.S. economic data and news earlier this week that the Federal Reserve will begin winding down its bond buying program.

Providing further lift was a gain in shares of BlackBerry Ltd, even though the company reported a quarterly loss on Friday as sales of its smartphones dropped.

The Fed on Wednesday cut the pace of its monthly asset purchases, by $10 billion to $75 billion, signaling its confidence in the U.S. economic recovery.

The world's biggest economy grew at its fastest pace in almost two years in the third quarter and business spending was stronger than previously estimated, according to the U.S. Commerce Department on Friday.

"It's rally time. We're seeing the after effects of the taper," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

"This is the celebration, and the hangover will come in the New Year, when there is the realization that the tiny taper is really a continuation of the loose policies of the Fed," he added.

Ing said a gradual increase in interest rates over time will be negative for the Canadian market.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 92.75 points, or 0.69 percent, at 13,484.95, after reaching 13,491.43, its highest level since Nov. 29.

All of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.7 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank rose 0.9 percent to C$98.78, and Royal Bank of Canada advanced 0.7 percent to C$71.10.

The price of Brent crude oil climbed 0.6 percent, helping support energy shares. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was up 1.3 percent, at C$35.46.

In other corporate news, Canadian regulators urged the government to approve Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline plan, seeing that it posed little risk to the environment if the company complied with a long list of conditions. Enbridge's stock edged up 0.2 percent to C$45.44.

Shares of BlackBerry shot up 7.1 percent to C$7.14.

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