TSX steady as Ukraine weighs, energy shares rally

Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:54pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday as signs of an escalation of conflict in Ukraine weighed on sentiment, but a jump in the oil price helped drive up shares of energy producers.

Oil prices rallied on uncertainty surrounding the Ukraine crisis as Russia is a major producer of oil and natural gas.

Ukraine said its artillery destroyed part of a Russian armoured column that entered its territory overnight and said its forces came under shellfire from Russia.

Investors also digested news of a revised Canadian jobs report for July, which turned out to be better than initially thought.

The Toronto market has been volatile in the past two weeks because of the flaring of tensions in Ukraine, Iraq and Israel.

"The geopolitical events are definitely impacting market psyche," said Shailesh Kshatriya, associate director for client investment strategies at Russell Investments Canada.

He does not expect much movement on the TSX between now and the end of the year.

"I'm feeling more confident about the pace of the U.S. recovery in the second half of this year than with the Canadian recovery," he said.   Continued...

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch