TSX ekes out gain despite Spain uncertainty

Tue Oct 2, 2012 5:31pm EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index eked out a small gain on Tuesday in volatile trade as investors reacted to mixed signals about Spain's readiness to seek a bailout while awaiting the next big catalyst to drive markets after a strong third quarter.

It was the second straight positive day at the start of the fourth quarter. The TSX finished the third quarter up more than 6 percent, as energy companies and miners benefited from a strong showing in crude and bullion prices.

On Tuesday, firmer energy and financial shares outweighed weakness in materials issues. Canada's main index outperformed Wall Street amid questions about the upcoming earnings season. .N

"We have just completed the quarter, so a lot of people are now realigning their positions, and they're going to take a few days to look ahead to this quarter," said Ron Meisels, technical analyst and president of Phases & Cycles in Montreal. "A positive quarter usually signals good earnings to come."

Among the most influential names on the upside, Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO: Quote) jumped 2 percent to C$35.25 and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) advanced 0.9 percent to C$32.93.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 21.04 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,391.23. Eight of the 10 sectors were positive, including financials, up 0.1 percent.

The TSX drifted between positive and negative territory for most of the day, as enthusiasm on signs that a bailout request from Spain as early as the weekend faded.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said a request for European aid was not imminent following a report the country could apply for help soon.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch