TSX ekes out gain as gold miners shine, TD Bank slumps

Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:55pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index ended barely higher on Friday, with sharp gains for gold miners offset by a slump in Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) (TD) after CBC News reported that its employees were being pressured to meet high sales revenue goals.

Shares in TD, Canada's No. 2 lender, closed down 5.6 percent at C$66.00, its biggest one-day decline since early 2009.

In an emailed response to Reuters regarding the CBC story, TD said, "The environment described in the media report is very much at odds with how we run our business, and we don't recognize it from our own perspective, experience or assessments."

The financials group fell 1.1 percent, despite solid domestic jobs data broadly boosted bond yields.

Several major gold miners were among the most influential gainers as bullion recovered from a five-week low. [GOL/]

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 2.1 percent, with Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) rising 2.6 percent to C$24.51.

"I don't see a fundamental reason to be excited about the miners, or about gold itself, because anything that depends on a weaker U.S. dollar just doesn't make sense to me with Donald Trump in the White House," said Allan Small, senior investment advisor at HollisWealth.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 9.84 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,506.68. It lost 0.7 percent on the week.   Continued...

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