TSX steady as financials-led retreat offsets resource gains

Fri Sep 5, 2014 5:14pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index finished Friday's session little changed, as modest, but broad, declines led by financial stocks, offset resource gains and investors kept to the sidelines.

Financial stocks, the most influential group on the index, were down 0.4 percent, with four of the top five decliners falling into the sector. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was off 0.52 percent at C$57.48, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) slipped 0.4 percent to C$80.76.

A disappointing jobs report tempered investor sentiment, with data showing the Canadian economy unexpectedly shed 11,000 jobs last month.

"This is the first week back from the holiday season, and people are trying to assess the overall economic environment," said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management. "I think the market is also trying to digest a lot of things happening around the world."

Shares of Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) were down for a second day in a row after the company said it had agreed to buy Standard Life's Canadian operations.

Manulife was down 0.6 percent at C$21.92 and has lost more than 2 percent since the deal was announced.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the session down 6.87 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,569.92. The index dipped 0.4 percent on the week.

Seven of the index's 10 main groups fell during the session.   Continued...

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