TSX edges higher as strong miners offset SNC slide

Fri Mar 8, 2013 5:18pm EST
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended slightly higher on Friday as rebounding mining shares offset weaker tech stocks and a steep drop in SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO: Quote) after the engineering company reported disappointing quarterly results.

Strong jobs data in both Canada and the United States had little impact on shares as Canadian investors seemed reluctant to follow U.S. equity markets higher. The S&P 500 .SPX rose nearly 0.5 percent on the U.S. employment data.

"The TSX continues to trade sideways. There's some lingering concern about where we go from here," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"At this point, all we can hope for is a narrowing of the gap between the S&P 500 and the TSX."

The Toronto index is up about 3 percent this year, trailing an 8 percent rise in the S&P 500.

SNC's shares dropped 6.2 percent to C$43.01, making it the worst performer on the TSX index, after its fourth-quarter earnings and 2013 outlook fell short of market expectations.

That helped pull the TSX industrials group down 0.6 percent, making it one of the four of 10 TSX subgroups to weaken during the session.

The small information technology subgroup was also weak. It retreated 1.1 percent on the back of IT services company CGI Group Inc (GIBa.TO: Quote), which fell 2.7 percent to C$26.58, and BlackBerry (BB.TO: Quote), which eased 1.1 percent to C$13.43.   Continued...

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