August 19, 2016 / 3:27 PM / a year ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX barely higher; lower metals prices weigh on miners

3 Min Read

(Updates prices)

* TSX up 2.72 points, or 0.02 percent, to 14,698.40

* Half of the TSX's 10 main groups fall

* Index heads for 0.3 pct loss over week

TORONTO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was barely higher on Friday, as gains for bank, consumer and railway stocks offset declines for miners which fell on weaker metals prices.

Gold lost ground, snapping a week-long advance after a top Federal Reserve official joined other policymakers signaling support for a U.S. interest rate hike in coming months.

Bullion is sensitive to higher interest rates which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as precious metals, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.

The most influential weights on the stock index included Barrick Gold Corp, which fell 0.8 percent to C$26.67.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.8 percent.

Diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd declined 2.5 percent to C$20.56. Silver Wheaton Corp fell 2.1 percent to C$38.27 and First Majestic Silver Corp declined 3.8 percent to C$20.05.

Spot silver fell 1.5 percent to $19.41 an ounce.

On Thursday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams indicated backing for a U.S. interest rate hike in upcoming months, following statements by other policymakers with similar views.

At 10:52 a.m. EDT (1452 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 2.72 points, or 0.02 percent, to 14,698.40.

The heavyweight banking sector rose 0.2 percent, while industrials rose 0.5 percent.

Waste Connections Inc gained 0.9 percent to C$100.72 after Fitch affirmed its rating on the company's debt.

The index is on track for a 0.3 percent loss on the week.

Half of the index's 10 main groups were in negative territory with decliners outnumbering advancers by 1.6-to-1.

Canadian National Railway Co gained 0.8 percent to C$83.23, and rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd rose 0.8 percent to C$195.64.

Consumer discretionary stocks rose 0.2 percent, with auto parts maker Magna International Inc adding 0.8 percent to C$51.9 and budget chain Dollarama Inc up 1.2 percent to C$97.07.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp Editing by W Simon

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