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The screens at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto show the closing numbers of the TSX on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. (Matthew Sherwood For The Globe and Mail)
The screens at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto show the closing numbers of the TSX on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. (Matthew Sherwood For The Globe and Mail)

At midday: TSX climbs further above 13,000 Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was higher Friday amid strong economic data from China and solid earnings reports from General Electric, Morgan Stanley and Google.

The S&P/TSX composite index rose 78.02 points to 13,114.38 after closing above 13,000 Thursday for the first time in more than two years amid relief that U.S. lawmakers had reached an agreement to extend the debt limit, thus averting a possible default.

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“Things are aligning for Canada,” said Wes Mills, chief investment officer, Scotia Asset Management PM Advisor Services.

“Canada has lagged for a couple of years now on the U.S. in particular. Technically, the TSX has broken out (and) we should be able to challenge the 14,000 level.”

The Canadian dollar was up 0.15 of a cent to 97.3 cents US as inflation pressures increased slightly in September.

Statistics Canada said the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2 per cent month over month in September. That was on top of a 0.1 per cent rise in August.

The agency says the CPI was up 1.1 per cent in the 12 months to September, which matched the annual rate in August.

U.S. indexes were mixed as the Dow Jones industrials dipped 11.16 points to 15,360.49 while the Nasdaq rose 33 points to 3,896.14 as Google’s stock price cracked the US$1,000 level. The S&P 500 index was ahead 5.42 points at 1,738.57 after hitting another record high close Thursday.

There was positive news from the world’s second-biggest economy as China’s growth rebounded in the latest quarter to 7.8 per cent from a two-decade low of 7.5 per cent in the second quarter, helped by government stimulus measures.

Telecoms led TSX advancers, up 0.7 per cent with Telus (TSX:T) ahead 41 cents to $34.91.

The energy sector also rose 0.7 per cent as the Chinese data helped push the November contract in New York 28 cents higher at US$100.95 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) gained 46 cents to C$33.72.

The industrials sector rose 0.55 per cent. The aerospace division of Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B) says one of China’s top leasing companies is the previously unidentified customer for up to 30 of its new CSeries aircraft.

The buyer, CDB Leasing Co. Ltd., known as CLC, placed a conditional order in July 2011. Based on list prices, the initial contract would be worth about US$1.02 billion, and at US$2.07 billion if all options were exercised and Bombardier shares gained nine cents to $5.08, just off the 52-week high of $5.18.

Copper prices also advanced in the wake of the data from China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal. The December contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose one cent to US$US$3.31 a pound. The TSX base metals sector advanced 0.4 per cent and First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) climbed 21 cents to C$18.86.

The gold sector was the sole decliner, down 0.75 per cent after charging ahead almost five per cent Thursday as December bullion lost $7.60 to US$1,315.40 an ounce after running ahead more than $40 on Thursday. Goldcorp (TSX:G) faded 22 cents to C$25.04.

In earnings news, General Electric’s net income fell nine per cent in the third quarter to $3.19 billion, or 31 cents per share, on revenue of $35.7 billion. Ex-items, GE earned 40 cents per share, five cents higher than forecast and its shares rose 66 cents to US$25.34.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley said its third-quarter earnings almost doubled as the firm’s equity sales and trading revenue rose. The bank earned $1.01 billion, or 50 cents a share, after stripping out an accounting charge, a dime higher than analysts forecasts. Its shares gained 52 cents to $29.45.

And after the close Thursday, Google Inc. posted earnings of nearly $3 billion, or $8.75 per share, for the three months ended in September. If not for its expenses for employee stock compensation, Google said it would have earned $10.74 per share, topping the average estimate of $10.36 per share among analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue for the third quarter rose 12 per cent from last year to $14.9 billion. After subtracting commissions paid to Google’s ad partners, Google’s revenue stood at $11.9 billion, about $227 million above analysts’ predictions and its stock surged $111.21, or 12.5 per cent, to $1,000 after going as high as $1,007.40.

European bourses also advanced as London’s FTSE 100 index gained 0.62 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.35 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 was ahead 0.86 per cent.

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