TSX steady as resources slip, National Bank gains

Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:56pm EDT
 
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday, a day after hitting a record high, as weakness in energy and materials shares was offset by a gain in National Bank of Canada after the lender reported quarterly results.

Also weighing on the index, Talisman Energy Inc fell 5.1 percent after news that the oil company had run into difficulties trying to sell itself to Spanish energy company Repsol SA.

National Bank of Canada jumped 3.1 percent as the country's sixth-largest bank reported a stronger quarterly profit, helped by a sharp jump in earnings in its wealth management and financial markets arms.

The benchmark index has climbed about 14.5 percent this year.

“There is a sense of caution in the air,” said Diana Avigdor, portfolio manager and head of trading at Barometer Capital Management.

"But there's no reason why we should have a major selloff based on a macroeconomic environment that is stable, rates that are very low and earnings that were fairly good."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 16.56 points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,602.65. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, shed 1 percent, with Barrick Gold Corp losing 1.2 percent to C$19.66 and Agrium declining 1 percent to C$102.31.   Continued...

 
A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch