(New throughout, updates prices and market activity)
* TSX up 43.53 points, or 0.28 percent, at 15,755.99
* Eight of the TSX's 10 main groups were higher
TORONTO, April 25 Canada's main stock index
touched a two-month high on Tuesday, led by gains for
heavyweight financial and energy stocks, while shares of lumber
companies rallied after new U.S. import duties on the product
came out lower than some investors had expected.
The United States said it will impose preliminary
anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on imports of Canadian
softwood lumber, escalating a long-running trade dispute between
the two neighbors.
Shares in West Fraser Timber Co Ltd, which would
pay the highest duty rate of the affected companies, rose 5.6
percent to C$59.50, while Canfor Corp stock gained 3.5
percent to C$18.82.
Other lumber stocks including Conifex Timber Inc,
Western Forest Products Inc and Interfor Corp
RBC analysts said the rates imposed were at the low end of
their 20-30 percent expectation.
"While we expect this initial determination will be a
headwind for Canadian producers in the short-term, we expect the
impact will be less significant in the medium-term (as final
rates come in lower), and even less so in the long-term after a
new Softwood Lumber Agreement is formed," they wrote in a note.
At 11:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 43.53 points, or 0.28
percent, at 15,755.99.
Eight of the index's 10 main groups were higher, with the
materials sector down 2.8 percent as disappointing earnings from
two major miners offset the lumber company gains.
Barrick Gold Corp, the world's largest gold miner,
fell 9.3 percent to C$23.32, after reporting
weaker-than-expected earnings and slashing its forecast for
output and hiking costs at its gold mine in Argentina.
Teck Resources Ltd fell 5.6 percent to C$27.94
after North America's largest producer of steelmaking coal
reported lower-than-expected profit due to higher costs, lower
production and sales volumes.
The energy group climbed 1.1 percent, as oil prices slipped
after recent sharp falls, with Canadian Natural Resources
advanced 2.1 percent to C$45.21.
The financials group gained 0.9 percent, led by a 1.3
percent gain for the country's largest bank, Royal Bank of
Canada, to C$97.33.
Metro Inc after the retailer met earnings
expectations and upped its dividend.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by David Gregorio)