TSX rebounds after strong North American data

Sun Life Financial President and CEO Dean Connor speaks at their annual general meeting for...

Sun Life Financial President and CEO Dean Connor speaks at their annual general meeting for shareholders in Toronto, May 10, 2012. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Claire Sibonney, Reuters

, Last Updated: 12:23 PM ET

Canada's main stock index turned positive by mid-morning on Friday as constructive North American data helped to offset political uncertainty in Greece, negative economic surprises from China and shock trading losses at JPMorgan Chase.

Among the most influential gainers, insurer Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) jumped 3.4 percent to C$23.32, Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) climbed 0.8 percent to C$81.47 and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) added 0.5 percent to C$80.59.

Economically sensitive financials recovered after news that JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the biggest U.S. bank by assets, suffered a trading loss of at least $2 billion from a failed hedging strategy.

On the upside, Canada reported a surge in April jobs and U.S. consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in more than four years in early May.

But global sentiment was still mixed after data showed Chinese industrial production in April grew at its slowest pace in nearly three years. After China's poor trade numbers on Thursday, investors fear the world's No. 2 economy continues to slow after a weak first-quarter performance.

Meanwhile, the leaders of Greece's once-dominant political parties made a last push to avert a new election, which a poll showed would give victory to a radical leftist and doom an EU bailout.

"The European situation is just a total mess," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities. "They're getting new heads of state in France and maybe at some stage in Greece and there are more elections to come this year so it's just going to be a continual source of frustration ... and as such the market will tend to react one day up and one day down."

At 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 9.15 points, or 0.08 percent, at 11,745.32.

"On a percentage basis it's really been kind of quiet and I think that may be because a lot of the investors have just pulled out of this market," added Kinsey.

"Some of the mutual funds in the first quarter had net redemptions and I think people maybe just saying 'Well we'll put our money into real estate or we'll just sit on the sidelines for a while because I can't take any more of this frustration.'"

Among the most influential declines, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) lost 1 percent to C$37.44, Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) fell 1 percent to C$35.05 and Osisko Mining Corp (OSK.TO) sank nearly 11 percent to C$7.58.

After reporting a profit on Thursday, Osisko announced that a fire at its Canadian Malartic gold mine had forced it to shut down operations at its only operating mine, which went into commercial production last year.


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