CANADA STOCKS-TSX firms as banks offset dip in resources; eyes on Fed
* TSX up 4.97 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,816.15 * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance * TD, RBC have biggest positive influence on market * BlackBerry slips a day after news of takeover deal By John Tilak TORONTO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was slightly higher on Tuesday as the telecoms and financial sectors gained but anxiety about the path of U.S. Federal Reserve policy weighed on shares of natural resource companies. Focus stayed fixed on conjecture about the Fed's plans for its stimulus program as the market combed economic data for hints on what the U.S. central bank will do next. Among the data, a private sector report said U.S. consumer confidence slipped in September as consumers' outlook on the future darkened a bit. But German business morale improved slightly to its highest level in 17 months in September, suggesting Europe's largest economy is making a firm recovery. "We're still in the sideways mode," said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director, institutional equity research, at CIBC World Markets. "There's no directional thesis to the market." The Canadian market is still gauging the consequences of the Fed's decision to keep its bond-buying program intact, he added. "The Fed has said it's going to be data dependent, and this market is now responding to that side of the equation." Mokhtari said he expects the benchmark Canadian index to make some gains from current levels and to end the year at about 13,400. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 4.97 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,816.15. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose 0.2 percent. In the group, Toronto-Dominion Bank gained 0.6 percent to C$91.90, and Royal Bank of Canada added 0.4 percent to C$66.53. The two stocks had the biggest positive influence on the index. Shares of telecom companies climbed 0.3 percent. Telus Corp was up 1 percent, at C$35.78. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped 0.6 percent. Potash Corp gave back 1 percent to C$32.69, and First Quantum Minerals Ltd lost 1.6 percent to C$18.66. With the oil price falling, energy companies were down 0.4 percent. Suncor Energy Inc declined 1 percent to C$36.79. Shares of BlackBerry dropped 2.5 percent to C$8.85, a day after the smartphone maker signed a tentative $4.7 billion deal to be acquired by a consortium led by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. Fairfax shares were flat.
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