TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index closed slightly higher on Wednesday, with investors shifting their focus from a positive German court ruling on the euro zone’s new bailout fund to caution over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting.
The Fed looks set to announce a third round of bond purchases after its meeting wraps up on Thursday, as it tries to drive borrowing costs even lower and breathe more life into an economy that is not growing quickly enough to reduce unemployment.
A pair of heavyweight gold miners were the biggest positive influences on the index, but bullion was flat after hitting six-month highs as some buyers scaled back their bets.
“It is surprising, given that you’ve now got the green light for quantitative easing in Europe to go along with another bout from the Fed, that you didn’t see more strength in things like oil and gold,” said Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy.
The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB was off 0.1 percent.
Analysts say high hopes are priced in and any disappointing words from the Fed could result in pronounced sell-offs.
“The market’s been climbing the proverbial wall of worry and it’s seen cautiousness all the way along,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.
Among the laggards, Potash Corp lost 1.9 percent to C$40.92 and Royal Bank of Canada dipped 0.7 percent to C$55.41.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 12.17 points, or 0.1 percent, at 12,232.62. Seven of the 10 sectors were stronger.
Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO) was the third most influential name on the way up, climbing 2 percent to C$40.78. A Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst upgraded the telecom company to “buy” from “neutral”.
Germany’s Constitutional Court said the country can ratify the euro zone’s new rescue fund and budget pact as long it can guarantee there will be no increase in German financial exposure to the bailout fund without parliament’s approval.
The fund is seen potentially going a long way to solving the region’s debt crisis, and news of the court ruling gave a lift to equities, commodities, riskier currencies and bonds of heavily indebted euro zone nations. <MKTS/GLOB>
In company news, Niko Resources (NKO.TO) lost a third of its value to close at C$9 and Petrominerales PMG.TO fell more than 14 percent to C$8.21, after both oil and gas producers disappointed investors with drilling updates from their respective Indonesian and Colombian operations, prompting analyst downgrades.
Dollarama (DOL.TO) was down 0.6 percent to C$58.97, despite reporting a jump in quarterly profit.
Reporting by Claire Sibonney and Alastair Sharp; Editing by Dan Grebler and Kenneth Barry