TSX little changed as energy rises, China data drags
By John Tilak
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as a gain in energy shares on climbing oil prices helped offset weak economic data from China.
China's trade performance slumped in January, with both exports and imports dropping, renewing concerns about the health of the huge Asian economy.
The energy sector advanced 1.6 percent. The group has gained in six of the past seven sessions, helped by a recent rebound in oil prices. The jump in crude has raised hopes that oil might have found a bottom, but some market experts urged caution.
“The pendulum swings can go either way. Oil may want to retreat and test its lows before it goes up again,” said Douglas Davis, vice chairman at Davis-Rea.
“We held on to our oil stocks for a bounce, and they are bouncing,” he said, but added that he would be very cautious until the oil price settles.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 16.78 points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,100.70. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Among shares of energy producers, Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) added 1.5 percent to C$39.30, and Lightstream Resources Ltd LTS.TO jumped 3.6 percent to C$1.73.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose 0.4 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) was up 0.5 percent to C$65.47, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) gained 0.5 percent to C$54.52. Continued...