TSX ends flat on geopolitical concerns, copper drop

Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:59pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as worries about geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and weakness in the price of copper weighed.

Data indicating a slowdown in the Chinese property market hit copper prices, dragging down shares of miners such as Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO and First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO: Quote).

Investors digested news that Ukraine had denounced Russia's dispatch of a humanitarian aid convoy as an act of unbounded cynicism, while the United Nations said the death toll in fighting had doubled in the last two weeks.

Worries about Ukraine as well as crises in the Middle East have led to volatile trading on the Toronto stock market over the past few weeks.

“This is some concern about geopolitics," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. “You're having a lot of volatility and a lot of indecision in terms of what investors want to do.”

He said investors wanted to hold onto their cash and see how developments in the economy and geopolitics play out.

Michael expects the Canadian equity market to outperform U.S. stocks this year.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 11.50 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,262.73. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.   Continued...

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