CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as Middle East tensions offset by resource sectors

Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:13am EDT
 
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* TSX up 8.01 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,137.01
    * Five of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Resource shares climb with prices of gold, U.S. crude oil

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Tuesday as worries about increasing tensions
in the Middle East were overcome by gains in the natural
resource sectors.
    Both the gold-mining and energy sectors rebounded after the
prices of bullion and U.S. crude oil climbed.  
    Investors also digested comments from U.S. President Barack
Obama, who vowed to continue the fight against Islamic State
fighters following the first U.S.-led air strikes targeting the
militant group in Syria. 
    The Toronto equity market, which sold off sharply in the
previous two sessions, opened lower but failed to establish a
clear direction. The geopolitical tensions fueled a rise in
volatility. 
    "It's a mixed market," said David Cockfield, managing
director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.
"Obviously there are some people buying as they think the
correction is over, and there are some people selling."
    "The market needs a little more cleansing than the 500-odd
points that we've come down in Canada," Cockfield said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 8.01 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,137.01.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers climbed 0.9 percent, with
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rising 1.1 percent to
C$44.02 and Suncor Energy Inc gaining 0.4 percent to
C$41.52.
    The gold-mining sector added 0.9 percent. Goldcorp Inc
 advanced 0.7 percent to C$25.92, and Barrick Gold Corp
 climbed 0.4 percent to C$17.06.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
slipped slightly. Bank of Montreal shed 0.2 percent to
C$84.05.

 (Editing by Grant McCool)