TSX ends flat as resource stocks gain, banks slip

Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:58pm EDT
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended little changed on Tuesday as worries about increasing tensions in the Middle East were overcome by gains in the natural resource sectors.

The flat performance was in contrast to a slump in European indices and slips in the main U.S. stock markets. [.EU][.N]

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the day down 3.33 points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,125.67. It had lost a combined 336 points over the previous two sessions.

"15,000 is going to be a big support that I think will inevitably be tested, and it's quite likely that it even drifts lower from there," said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver. "But our year-end target is still 15,500, we don't see any reason to change that at this point."

Half of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher, but there was also a lack of conviction within some sectors.

"It's an uneven scenario playing out in the energy producer space," Picardo said, pointing out that Talisman Energy Inc's TLM.TO 4.6 percent jump to C$10.27 comes after several weeks of slips, while stronger names such as Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) fell back.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, slipped 0.3 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) down 0.4 percent at C$70.98 and Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO slipping 0.8 percent to C$21.77.

Farm supplier Agrium Inc AGU.TO gained 2.7 percent to C$104.58, up on a more stable outlook for nitrogen prices after a proposed merger of the two big players in global nitrogen production.   Continued...

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