By Warangkana Chomchuen
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Canadian stocks rose Thursday as gains by the health-care and energy sectors offset weak U.S. economic data.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 32 points to 12,161.
The health-care sector XX:TORGC191 +1.40% gained 2.5%. Shares of SXC Health Solutions Corp. increased 8.5%. The pharmacy-benefit manager’s shares posted a double-digit percentage gain on Wednesday after the company announced its plan to buy rival Catalyst Health Solutions .
Spanish bonds covered — at a price
The Spanish government's 10-year borrowing costs increased at its debt auction reflecting investor concerns about its ability to cut its budget deficit as planned as new data suggests problems remain in the banking sector. David Enrich and Martin Essex discuss. (Photo: Reuters)
The S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index XX:TORGC187 -0.39% added 0.8%, trimming gains in the morning session as oil prices fluctuated. Shares of Bankers Petroleum Ltd /zigman2/quotes/219253220/delayed CA:BNK +3.16% rose 4%.
Shares of the mining sector were mixed. Gold producers were among the better performers as gold prices edged up after U.S. weekly jobless claims were higher than anticipated. Goldcorp Inc. shares climbed 1%.
New U.S. claims for jobless benefits fell less than expected last week, to a seasonally adjusted 386,000. The reading hovered near a four-month high, dampening expectations that the job market would improve in April.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index fell to 8.5 from 12.5 in March, sliding below analysts’ expectations of 10.8.
Existing-home sales dropped unexpectedly to 2.6% in March, its slowest pace since December.
Among the base metals group, shares of Lundin Mining Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201246870/delayed CA:LUN +2.88% rose 4%, while First Quantum Minerals Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209694942/delayed CA:FM +0.17% added 2.8%.
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/207656050/delayed CA:IVN 0.00% shares slipped 4.5% after Rio Tinto PLC said it would review the company’s sale of a stake in SouthGobi Resources /zigman2/quotes/202113662/delayed CA:SGQ +28.57% to Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., or Chalco, now that it has control of Ivanhoe’s board.
First Uranium Corp. shares plunged 20% after the company said its gold sales for the fourth quarter 2012 decreased 15% from the previous quarter. The company said only 86 pounds of uranium was produced in the fourth quarter, a sharp drop from 30,887 in the third quarter.
In the technology sector, Research In Motion shares rose 3% after Bloomberg News reported that the BlackBerry maker is close to selecting a financial adviser, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. /zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite JPM -0.66% is the leading candidate. Bloomberg reported that the company would prefer to license its BlackBerry operating system, and the second option would be finding a strategic investor.
In currency trading, the Canadian dollar fell against its U.S. counterpart /zigman2/quotes/210561978/realtime/sampled USDCAD -0.2689% , with one U.S. dollar buying C$0.9943 from C$0.9909 late Wednesday.