CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as U.S. data offset by declining miners

Thu Jan 9, 2014 10:54am EST
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* TSX falls 12.92 points, or 0.09 percent, to 13,601.71
    * Six of 10 main index sectors decline
    * HudBay slips after announcing stock offering
    * Canadian Natural gains after dropping asset sale plans

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday, with positive sentiment after the
release of upbeat U.S. labor market data offset by declines in
mining shares.
    A day after a positive private jobs report, figures on
Thursday indicated the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits last week fell slightly more than
    That suggested to some investors that the employment outlook
was brightening, raising expectations of a bullish nonfarm
payrolls report on Friday.
    "There should be an improvement (in jobs growth)," said
Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "We believe the
employment picture will gradually improve over time."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 12.92 points, or 0.09 percent, at 13,601.71.
    Trading in the Toronto market has been choppy so far this
year. The benchmark index gained 9.6 percent in 2013. 
    "There's not a lot of activity. The market remains very
volatile," said Michael. "We think the market will sawtooth its
way higher between now and the end of the year."
    "On risk reward basis, common stocks appear to be relatively
good value compared to bonds," he added.
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on
    The mining sub-sector declined 1.8 percent.  
    First Quantum Minerals Ltd dropped 3.3 percent to
CC$18.17, and Teck Resources Ltd gave back 2.9 percent
to C$25.51.
    HudBay Minerals Inc slipped 5.2 percent to C$8.35
after the company agreed to offer 18.2 million of its common
stock at C$8.25 a share. 
    Shares of energy producers lost 0.3 percent, with Suncor
Energy Inc giving back 0.2 percent to C$37.39.
    But Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 0.6
percent to C$35.46 after the oil producer said it dropped plans
to dispose of its Montney shale-gas property after failing to
attract a suitable offer.