CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as ECB comments offset SNC drop

Thu Nov 6, 2014 10:59am EST
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* TSX down 1.80 points, or 0.01 percent, at 14,546.46
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors decline
    * SNC tumbles 7.4 percent on outlook, job cuts

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday as comments from the European Central
Bank were offset by a decline for SNC-Lavalin Group Inc 
after the engineering and construction company cut its profit
    SNC trimmed its full-year earnings forecast and said it was
cutting its workforce by 9 percent. Its shares dropped 7.4
    Investors were encouraged as the European Central Bank
indicated a willingness to unveil more stimulus measures if
    But the price of oil fell as a stronger U.S. dollar and
concerns about oversupply weighed. Energy shares, which have
tumbled with the commodity price in recent months, dropped
again. They have lost about a quarter of their value since the
middle of June.  
    "Oil stocks are trying to find a bottom here," said Robert
McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset
Management, who sees this decline as an opportunity to pick up
energy assets. 
    "Companies that have increased production and low debt are
particularly attractive," he said.
    "On a relative basis, we think the U.S. stocks will do
better than Canada, but overall both markets will continue to
move ahead," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 1.80 points, or 0.01 percent, at 14,546.46.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    The energy sector was down 1 percent. Suncor Energy Inc
 shed 1.1 percent to C$38.08, and Encana Corp 
lost 2 percent to C$20.59.
    The gold-mining sector rebounded, rising 5.2 percent after a
decline in the previous session. Barrick Gold Corp 
advanced 4.6 percent to C$13.07, and Goldcorp Inc jumped
4 percent to C$21.14.

 (Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)