CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as energy gains on jobs data offset by gold

Fri Mar 7, 2014 11:46am EST
 
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By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, March 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
little changed on Friday, as gains in energy stocks following
better-than-expected U.S. jobs data was offset by a drop in
mining stocks as the price of gold fell.
    U.S. jobs growth picked up sharply in February despite an
unusually cold winter, with 175,000 new jobs created, while the
Canadian economy lost 7,000 jobs. Sentiment in Canada is often
influenced by news out of the United States, Canada's largest
trading partner.  
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 9.9 points at 14,280.25. Seven of the indexes
10 main groups were in positive territory.
    "Our index has the barbell between financials and resources
that makes our markets somewhat less volatile, in terms of
what's going on," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC
Capital Markets.
    Energy stocks were helped by stronger crude prices, which
rose to $108 a barrel on supply concerns from the crisis in
Ukraine and the U.S. jobs number. 
    Canadian Natural Resources was up 1.9 percent at
C$41.58, while Suncor Energy Inc rose 1.2 percent to
C$36.95. The overall group climbed 0.9 percent.
    The materials group, comprised of mining stocks, offset much
of the positive gains, with a 1.5 percent retreat, as gold and
copper prices fell.
    Goldcorp Inc was off 1.8 percent at C$29.95, while
Barrick Gold Corp was down 1.6 percent at C$21.97.
Base-metals miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd led the
decliners with a 4.1 percent drop to C$20.36 as copper hit a
seven-month low on China growth worries.  
    Gold prices fell 1 percent as U.S. jobs data helped soothe
fears of an abrupt slowdown in the world's biggest economy.