CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as investors digest Fed, eye Scottish vote

Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:48am EDT
 
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* TSX down 14.61 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,444.27
    * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Gold-mining shares drop 2 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday as a drop in gold-mining shares on
weakness in the price of bullion offset gains in most other
sectors, while investors continued to digest U.S. Federal
Reserve comments on its policy outlook.
    The Fed renewed its pledge on Wednesday to keep interest
rates near zero for a "considerable time," but also indicated it
could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts
moving on interest rates. 
    The market also awaited the outcome of Thursday's Scottish
referendum on independence, with polls showing that the results
could be very close. 
    "People are probably heartened by the Fed's stance as of
yesterday," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
"The fact is that the doves are still running the show at the
Fed, for the moment, although there are certain indications that
when rates go up, they'll probably go up a lot faster."
    "It's very murky out there. People are looking for some sort
of stability to take us to the next level," he added.
    Michael said he expects the benchmark TSX index to recover
after its recent losses as the global economy gains momentum.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 14.61 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,444.27.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
advanced 0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada climbed 0.5
percent to C$82.85, and Bank of Montreal added 0.8
percent to C$85.52.
    The gold-mining sector shed 2 percent, with Goldcorp Inc
 losing 2.5 percent to C$26.66 and Barrick Gold Corp
 declining 2 percent to C$17.53.
    In corporate news, Penn West Petroleum Ltd said it
was strengthening its accounting practices after a review
uncovered irregularities that forced the company to restate some
of its previous results. Shares of the oil producer jumped 10.7
percent to C$8.56. 
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)