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TMCNet:  Toronto climbs on offshore news

[December 27, 2013]

Toronto climbs on offshore news

(Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Base metals strongest on day The Toronto stock market surged Friday as it played catchup with U.S. indexes after being closed for Christmas and Boxing Day.

The momentum was provided by still more record highs in New York, as well as by positive developments in Japan.

The S&P/TSX composite index shot higher 69.96 points to conclude Friday at 13,587.98 The Canadian dollar dipped 0.52 cents to 93.40 cents U.S.

The gain on the TSX came as the market digested news that BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis has cashed in $26 million worth of shares in the struggling smartphone company.

The transaction, reported after the TSX closed early on Tuesday, now brings Lazaridis' stake in the tech maker to 5%. BlackBerry shares dipped 5.1% or 42 cents, to $7.83. The loss helped pulled down the info tech sector.

Most sectors on the TSX were positive, with base metals leading the charge. Shares in HudBay Minerals climbed 1.6%, or 14 cents, to $8.67.

Among plays in gold, another strong sector, Barrick Gold picked up 28 cents to $18.68.

Energy issues such as Imperial Oil tacked on 40 cents to $47.11, while Suncor gained 35 cents to $37.24.

The metals and mining sector advanced, though March copper fell two cents to $3.38 a pound. Shares in Teck Resources climbed 63 cents to $27.44 Japan passed the halfway mark toward its inflation goal last month as prices rose the most in five years, while regular wages halted 17 months of declines, underlining progress under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revitalize the economy.

ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange muscled higher 15.81 points to 919.09 All but two of the 14 TSX subgroups were higher, global base metals improving 2.3%, gold, up 1.6%, materials, advancing 1.2%.

The two laggards were information technology, down 1.2%, and consumer staples, fading 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET Stocks turned downward Friday as investors head into the home stretch of what has been a strong year for Wall Street.

The Dow Jones industrial average saw its winning streak come to an end with a loss of 1.47 points to finish a short week at 16,478.41 The S&P 500 index moved lower 0.62 points to 1,841.40. The NASDAQ fell 610.59 points to 4,156.59.

On Thursday, the Dow closed at a record high for the 50th time this year.

The S&P 500 also ended at a record high, and the tech- heavy NASDAQ marked a new 13-year high. For the week, all three indexes were on track to gain more than 1% Markets have charted big gains this year. The Dow is up more than 25% and S&P 500 has gained nearly 30%. The NASDAQ has soared 38%. The Dow is on track for its biggest annual gain since 1996 and the S&P 500 is on pace for its strongest year since 1997.

Delta Airlines shares fell after a glitch caused steeply discounted tickets to be offered online Thursday.

Sprint shares surged amid ongoing speculation that SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate that owns the telecommunications company, is working on a $20-billion U.S. bid to buy rival T-Mobile Shares of Twitter were under pressure following a strong rally this month. Twitter stock has surged some 75% in December and has nearly tripled in price since its November IPO.

Facebook shares have also been on a tear this month. The social network has gained more than 20% in December, but shares were little changed Friday.

Investors were encouraged by figures that showed a sharp drop in unemployment benefits last week, another sign that the economy is faring better than expected.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 42,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 338,000, the biggest drop since November 2012.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries sagged, raising yields to 3.01% from Thursday's 2.99%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 61 cents to $100.16 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $1.90 to $1,214.20 U.S. an ounce.

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