CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as financials-led retreat offsets resource gains

Fri Sep 5, 2014 5:12pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
finished Friday's session little changed, as modest, but broad,
declines led by financial stocks, offset resource gains and
investors kept to the sidelines.
    Financial stocks, the most influential group on the index,
were down 0.4 percent, with four of the top five decliners
falling into the sector. Toronto-Dominion Bank was off
0.52 percent at C$57.48, while Royal Bank of Canada 
slipped 0.4 percent to C$80.76.
    A disappointing jobs report tempered investor sentiment,
with data showing the Canadian economy unexpectedly shed 11,000
jobs last month. 
    "This is the first week back from the holiday season, and
people are trying to assess the overall economic environment,"
said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment
Management. "I think the market is also trying to digest a lot
of things happening around the world."
    Shares of Manulife Financial were down for a second
day in a row after the company said it had agreed to buy
Standard Life's Canadian operations. Manulife
was down 0.6 percent at C$21.92 and has lost more than 2 percent
since the deal was announced.
     The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 finished the session down 6.87 points, or 0.04
percent, at 15,569.92. The index dipped 0.4 percent on the week.
    Seven of the index's 10 main groups fell during the session.
    Some expect the directionless market to be temporary.
    "I think we're still in an uptrend; the markets have been
pretty strong all year," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at
Caldwell Securities Ltd in Toronto.
    On the upside, a 0.2 percent gain by the materials group and
a 0.1 percent gain by energy companies helped stem some of the
    TransCanada Corp was up 1.02 percent at C$60.33,
while Franco-Nevada Corp, which provides financing to
gold miners, was up 1.9 percent at C$60.57.
    Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc,
embroiled in a $50 billion hostile takeover fight involving
Allergan Inc, was up 2 percent at C$130.16, helping the
healthcare group finish 1.1 percent higher.

 (Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jonathan