CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed as golds offset energy decline

Mon Jun 3, 2013 11:30am EDT
 
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* TSX falls 6.49 points, or 0.05 percent, to 12,643.93
    * Five of 10 main sectors decline
    * Gold shares gain 1.3 percent
    * Canadian Natural slips after analyst downgrade
    * Western Potash tumbles after stake sale

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Monday, with strength in gold miners offset by
a decline in energy producers, as investors digested sluggish
economic data from around the world.
    U.S. manufacturing activity contracted in May for the first
time in six months as new orders slipped and there was less
demand for exports. Data also showed euro zone manufacturing
contracted last month at a slightly slower pace, while Asian
factories lost momentum. 
    A decline in Canadian Natural Resources Ltd,
following a downgrade of the stock by Goldman Sachs, further
weighed on the market.
    "The market itself is showing signs of toppiness," said John
Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
     "The financials are going sideways at the prospect of
higher interest rates, energy seems flat and the golds look like
they're going to bounce."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 6.49 points, or 0.05 percent, at 12,643.93.
    Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    Gold stocks received a boost after a weaker U.S. dollar
lifted the price of bullion. 
    "The gold sector has bottomed," Ing said. "At long last even
the gold stocks are participating. That's always an encouraging
sign."
    While the gold group has been hit the most this year,
falling about 31 percent, it climbed about 1.3 percent on Monday
and helped the materials sector add 0.3 percent.
    Barrick Gold Corp advanced 1.6 percent to C$22.12,
and Goldcorp Inc rose 0.5 percent to C$30.91.
    But Western Potash Corp declined as much as 12
percent after the mining company sold a nearly one-fifth stake
to a joint venture of two Chinese companies, requiring a new
issue of shares. 
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gained
0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada was up 0.3 percent at
C$61.72.
    However, energy shares gave back 0.6 percent, thanks to the
weakness in Canadian Natural. The stock lost 2.7 percent to
C$30.07 and played the biggest role of any single stock in
leading the market lower.