CANADA STOCKS-U.S. data fuels broad TSX gain, but gold miners drop

Reuters

* TSX rises 24.26 points, or 0.18 percent, to 13,454.27

* Nine of the 10 main index sectors advance

* Gold-mining shares hit a four-month low

* Gildan drops after reporting results

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index

climbed on Thursday as positive U.S. economic data helped drive

gains across most of its major sectors, offsetting a decline in

gold-mining shares.

Hurt by weakening bullion prices, gold miners fell to the

lowest in more than four months after dropping sharply the

previous session.

Upbeat data from the United States helped the index overcome

those losses and spurred investors to overlook worries about the

fate of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment

benefits dropped more than expected last week, indicating

strengthening labor market conditions in the world's largest

economy.

"We're back in this environment where investors are

incredibly focused on what central banks are doing, particularly

the Fed," said Craig Fehr, strategist at Edward Jones. "We're

getting this balance of policy issues alongside data that

continues to look incrementally better and fuel markets higher."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index

was up 24.26 points, or 0.18 percent, at 13,454.27.

The benchmark Canadian index is up about 8 percent this year,

and Fehr said he expects the Canadian market to benefit from a

faster pace of global economic growth.

"The outlook for the TSX is positive," he said. "Some of the

key catalysts for the TSX are pointing in the right direction."

Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on

Thursday.

With oil prices rising, shares of energy companies climbed

0.3 percent. Enbridge Inc advanced 0.6 percent to

C$44.24, and Talisman Energy Inc added 0.6 percent to

C$12.69.

Financials, the index's weightiest sector, edged higher,

with Toronto-Dominion Bank gaining 0.1 percent to

C$97.97.

Gold producers gave back almost 2 percent. Barrick Gold Corp

dropped 2.6 percent to C$17.47, and Goldcorp Inc

shed 1.8 percent to C$24.08.

In corporate news, Gildan Activewear Inc reported a

9 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, but shares of the

apparel maker were down 2.8 percent at C$49.88.

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