TSX ends flat as miners slip, energy shares gain
By John Tilak
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday as a decline in shares of gold miners was offset by strength in the energy sector, which extended a solid run since the start of the year.
Energy shares received a boost from the continuing conflict in Iraq, which fueled worries about oil supply in the region and helped push up the price of U.S. crude oil.
The energy group has had the biggest influence on the market this year, gaining more than 23 percent.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE is up about 11 percent so far in 2014. It hit an all-time closing high on Thursday and ended the week higher.
"When an index reaches new highs, you definitely take a step back,” said Patrick Blais, a portfolio manager and managing director at Manulife Asset Management. “The markets definitely have had a very good run, so you've got to be more careful about cyclical names.”
“Given our constructive view on the U.S. economy and a number of central banks remain very accommodative, we're positive on the markets," he added.
The TSX closed down 3.11 points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,109.10.
“With stock valuations now close to historical norms, the case for similar equity price gains going forward (has) diminished,” Capital Economics said in a research note. “Moreover, we suspect that some of the recent gains in the energy sector are overdone.” Continued...