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TSX Recovers On Eurozone Hopes - Canadian Commentary


Snapping their three-session losing streak, Canadian stocks were moving higher as risk appetites improved after data revealed pick-up in German economic sentiment that bolstered hopes the euro zone's biggest economy would rebound.

Traders overlooked European Central Banks' recent comments on the economy. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told European lawmakers on Monday that the economic outlook for euro zone economies remained weak at the start of 2013 but the bank expects "a gradual recovery later this year." The ECB forecasts the region's economy will shrink 0.3 percent in 2013.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 75.37 points or 0.59 percent to 12,762.00, after losing just over 100 points or about 1 percent in the past three trading sessions. The stock market remained closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Among financial stocks, Royal Bank (RY.TO), Scotiabank (BNS.TO), CIBC (CM.TO) and TD Bank (TD.TO) were up around 1 percent each.

Fortress Paper Ltd. (FTP.TO) surged over 15 percent after announcing the appointment of Yvon Pelletier as President of its dissolving pulp business, effective February 25, 2013.

The price of crude oil was little changed Tuesday morning amid a mixed U.S. dollar and on geopolitical tensions. Negotiations between Iran and major world powers over Iran's nuclear programme remain deadlocked, and investors look ahead to the next meeting on February 26 for any signs of progress.

Crude for March slipped $0.22 to $95.64 a barrel.

In the oil patch, Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and Nexen Inc. (NXY.TO) were up nearly 1 percent each.

Meanwhile, Niko Resources (NKO.TO) surrendered close to 3 percent.

The price of gold was steady around its six-month low Tuesday morning on value-buying amid a mixed U.S. dollar. Gold for edged down $4.40 to $1,605.10 an ounce.

Among gold plays, Royal Gold (RGL.TO) and Allied Nevada Gold (ANV.TO) lost around 2 percent each.

Precious metals miner Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. (CDM.TO) surrendered over 1 percent after announcing that Orko Silver Corp.'s (OK.V) Board has unanimously determined that Coeur's buyout Proposal constitutes a "Superior Proposal" pursuant to its arrangement agreement with First Majestic Silver Corp. (FR.TO). Shares of First Majestic were down nearly 2 percent.

On the other hand, Goldcorp. (G.TO) edged up 0.50 percent after announcing that, through its unit, Goldcorp USA Inc., it has received 22.06 million shares or about nearly 11.5 percent in the capital of Delta Gold Corp. according to a reverse takeover transaction.

Open-ended trust which operates and manages automobile dealership AutoCanada Inc. (ACQ.TO) slipped 0.10 percent after it said that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly eligible dividend of C$0.18 per share, an increase of 5.8 percent from the previous quarterly dividend of C$0.17 per share.

In economic news, Statistics Canada said non-residents reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $1.9 billion in December, led by large retirements of bonds and equities. On the pother hand, Canadian investors added $5.5 billion of foreign securities to their portfolios, marking a fourth straight month of investment. This was the second consecutive month of a net outflow of funds in the form of securities

Separately, the agency said wholesale sales fell 0.9 percent in December to $49.0 billion, after rising 0.7 percent in November. The decrease was largely a result of lower sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry.

From south of the border, Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly deteriorated in the month of February, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders. The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index edged down to a reading of 46 in February from 47 in January. The modest drop by the Housing Market Index came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to inch up to 48.

From the euro zone, Germany's economic confidence improved strongly as financial market experts expect the situation to improve during the next months, data from the Center for European Economic Research/ZEW showed. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment rose 16.7 points to 48.2 in February. This was the third consecutive increase and the latest reading exceeded the consensus forecast of 35.

Separately, data released by statistical office Eurostat showed that euro zone's construction output decreased further in December, and at a slightly faster pace compared to the previous month. Construction production fell 4.8 percent on an annual basis in December, after falling 4.7 percent in November and 3.3 percent in October.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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