TSX flat as Goldcorp offsets softer energy stocks

Tue Jan 8, 2013 6:39pm EST
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index finished little changed on Tuesday, with weakness in the energy sector offset by Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote) stock, following an update on the company's production outlook and a plan to be more transparent on how it reports mining costs.

Investor sentiment was cautious at the start of the U.S. earnings season with U.S. stocks retreating from last week's rally to five-year highs. Investors anticipate lukewarm quarterly results and analyst estimates are down sharply from October..N

"It's cautious in part because the comparables versus a year ago will be difficult. More importantly investors are looking for insight on the outlook for the next three months or 12 months," said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management.

Shares of Goldcorp, Canada's second largest gold miner, rose 3.23 percent, to C$35.81, making it the index's most influential positive stock. The overall materials sector, home to miners, gained 0.24 percent.

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) shares, however, were down 1.28 percent at C$33.14 after the world's top gold miner said it had ended talks to sell a stake in its African Barrick Gold ABGL.L subsidiary to a Chinese buyer.

"There is a disappointment with that as it could have freed up some capital for them," McWhirter said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 5.26 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,504.81. Six of the index's 10 main sectors edged higher.

Investors were approaching earnings season with a mixture of hope and caution, said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.   Continued...

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