CANADA STOCKS-TSX creeps up in choppy month-end trade
* TSX up 12.66 points, or 0.11 percent, at 12,215.51 * Eight of 10 sectors firmer; energy shares lead By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index edged slightly higher on Friday, the final trading day of the month, tracking global markets and commodity prices, but a lack of progress in U.S. budget talks to avert a fiscal crisis looked likely to cap gains. Energy shares were among the top advancers. Nexen Inc added 1.7 percent to C$23.66, Canadian Natural Resources rose 0.7 percent to C$28.75 and Suncor Energy climbed 0.3 percent to C$32.94. Still, investors were on edge after mixed headlines out of Washington, where a deal is needed by year-end or automatic spending cuts and tax rises will be triggered that could tip the U.S. economy into a recession. "(The U.S. fiscal crisis) has sort of been on the periphery of the news for quite some time but yet there's been no movement one way or the other and it's 31 days away, so it's just more of distraction than a focus point," said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities. U.S. President Barack Obama plans to travel to a factory in Pennsylvania to press his case for raising taxes on the wealthy to narrow the deficit. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said Thursday no substantive progress had been made in fiscal negotiations with the White House, and criticized President Obama and Democrats for failing to get serious about including spending cuts in a final deal. At 10:41 a.m. (1541 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 12.66 points, or 0.11 percent, at 12,215.51. Eight of the 10 sectors were firmer, supported by a wobbly advance in commodity prices. Also helping to lift sentiment, German lawmakers approved the latest bailout for Greece on Friday by a large majority despite growing unease about the cost to taxpayers less than a year before federal elections. Weighing on the downside, Talisman Energy lost 2.8 percent to C$11.23, Royal Bank of Canada was down 0.3 percent to C$58.44 and First Quantum Minerals slipped 0.9 percent to C$20.18 First Quantum said on Thursday it believed Inmet Mining Corp's board was selling shareholders short by refusing to enter into talks on a takeover proposal put forward by First Quantum earlier this month.
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