TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced on Monday as an upgrade of the U.S. credit outlook lifted shares of financial companies and helped offset sluggish economic data from China.
Standard & Poor's upgraded its credit outlook for the United States government to "stable" from "negative," reducing the threat of a further downgrade to the country's sovereign rating.
But the gains were kept in check as data showed risks are rising that China's economic growth will fall further in the second quarter and that full-year forecasts will be cut further. The numbers also indicated weakness in May exports and struggling domestic activity.
The Toronto market recovered after six straight daily declines.
"The market is a little unsettled because it hasn't shown much strength of late," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite indexwas up 22.77 points, or 0.18 percent, at 12,396.07.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced 0.2 percent. Gold producers were up 0.6 percent as the price of bullion edged higher.
Miner Barrick Gold Corprose 1.3 percent to C$20.87.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.5 percent.
Royal Bank of Canada , the country's biggest lender, gained 0.8 percent to C$60.49 and played the biggest role of any single stock in leading the market higher.
Shares of energy producers rose 0.2 percent. Suncor Energy Incclimbed 0.8 percent to C$31.91.
In company news, Air Canadasaid it is moving ahead with plans to trim its costs by up to some 15 percent over the medium term, even as it pushes ahead with plans to boost its system capacity over the coming year. The stock was little changed.
(Editing by Kenneth Barry)