By Sue Chang, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Canadian stocks gained in choppy trading on Wednesday as concerns about Europe’s debt woes receded after European leaders reiterated their commitment to supporting Greece.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 87.90 points, or 0.7%, to close at 12,293.30.
Sales figures weigh on U.S. stocks
U.S. retail sales figures for August came in unchanged, but indications that a Greek debt default may not be imminent provided some optimism for stocks.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, conferring by conference call, reaffirmed the decision reached in July to rescue Greece from a disorderly default, Reuters reported. See related story on Greece's crisis
Earlier, the Canadian benchmark index had struggled to gain a foothold in positive territory on disappointing U.S. data.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced that inventories rose 0.4% in July while the inventory-to-sales ratio, a gauge of demand, declined to 1.27 in July from 1.28 in the prior month. Read about inventory data
In the Toronto exchange, most sectors closed higher, led by the S&P/TSX Capped Telecom Services Index which jumped 2.5%. The S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index added 2.1% and the S&P/TSX Capped Consumer Discretionary Index rose 1.8%.
Suncor Energy /zigman2/quotes/204570600/delayed CA:SU -0.97% was one of the strongest performers, climbing 3.1%, while Agrium Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources /zigman2/quotes/203742161/delayed CA:CNQ -3.42% both advanced 2.2%.
Gold miners were mostly weaker in line with a decline in gold prices. Gold for December delivery slid $3.60, or 0.2%, to $1,826.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. See MarketWatch’s metals report
Yamana Gold /zigman2/quotes/206359073/delayed CA:YRI -0.91% fell 2.8%, Goldcorp /zigman2/quotes/225792379/delayed CA:G -2.78% shed 1.8% and Barrick Gold /zigman2/quotes/209252292/delayed CA:ABX -0.92% slipped 1.1%.
Meanwhile, shares of Silvercorp Metals /zigman2/quotes/210397281/delayed CA:SVM -3.13% /zigman2/quotes/209674256/composite SVM -3.77% rebounded 3.7%, following a 20.3% plunge on Tuesday, after the company refuted a new report accusing it of fraud. Read Silvercorp’s comments
In the currency market, the Canadian dollar retreated with the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561978/realtime/sampled USDCAD -0.3422% buying 98.99 Canadian cents in recent trading.