Canadian stocks tick up on US growth data

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Toronto, Feb 27 (IANS) Canada’s main stock market in Toronto edged higher as data showed the US economy slowed in the last quarter of 2015 but not as sharply as early estimates had suggested.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index gained 44.19 points, or 0.35 percent, to close at 12,797.79 points on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Five of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors were higher.

Revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures from the US Commerce Department on Friday showed an annualized growth rate of 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

That’s an improvement from the initial estimate of 0.7 percent growth. The higher revision surprised analysts who’d expected the latest GDP report would show the economy slowing even more, to 0.4 percent. Still, one percent growth is just half the annual growth rate posted in the third quarter.

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“The weaker drag from inventories in the fourth quarter means that any rebound in the first quarter could be slightly more modest than we previously expected,” said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.

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