February 12, 2015 / 4:13 PM / 3 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as insurers slip on results, energy gains

3 Min Read

* TSX up 5.58 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,157.08

* Six of 10 main index sectors decline

* Manulife, Sun Life slip after results

* Bombardier tumbles after posting loss, shuffling management

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Thursday as weakness in Manulife Financial and Sun Life Financial after the insurers reported quarterly results helped offset gains in oil prices and shares of energy producers.

A selloff in Bombardier Inc, after the company reported a quarterly loss and announced management changes, further weighed on the market.

Oil prices remained choppy, jumping more than 3 percent and extending their gains from the previous session. Shares of energy companies advanced as well.

The benchmark TSX has reflected this volatility. The index has been having big swings in sentiment but is up about 3.3 percent so far this year.

"We may see more volatility (in the energy sector) going forward, given that we're seeing such dramatic volatility in the underlying commodity price," said Tim Caulfield, director of equity research at Franklin Bissett Investment Management, a unit of Franklin Templeton Investments.

"If share prices have overreacted, taking the long-term view, that can create an interesting buying opportunity," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 5.58 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,157.08. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Financials, the index's most heavily-weighted sector, slipped because of the decline in insurance companies.

Manulife gave back 4.3 percent, to C$20.89, after reporting a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and warning macroeconomic factors like low interest rates would produce "headwinds" in 2015.

Rival Sun Life slumped 5.8 percent, to C$39.51, as it posted a much weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit late on Wednesday.

In the energy sector, which was up 1.1 percent, Suncor Energy Inc climbed 1.3 percent to C$38.98.

After reporting a quarterly loss, Bombardier said it plans to raise more than $2 billion in equity and debt, suspend its dividends and shuffle its leadership, bringing in an outsider as chief executive. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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