CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends flat as energy bounce offsets lower financials

Thu Mar 9, 2017 5:24pm EST
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(Adds portfolio manager quotes and updates prices)

* TSX ends down 0.14 of a point at 15,496.84

* Six of the TSX's 10 main groups end lower

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, March 9 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended flat on Thursday as a rebound in energy led by Canadian Natural Resources, after sharp losses the day before, offset losses for the financial sector.

Canadian Natural Resources jumped 9.8 percent to C$43.31 after reaching a deal to buy most of the Canadian oil sands assets of Royal Dutch Shell Plc for $7.25 billion.

"That's a pretty smart move ... to pick up some more assets when the price is still fairly cheap," said Marcus Xu, president & director, M.Y. Capital Management Corp.

The overall energy group rallied 1.6 percent even as oil prices fell. U.S. crude oil futures settled $1 lower at $49.28 a barrel as record U.S. crude inventories fed doubts about whether Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries-led supply cuts would reduce a global glut.

Despite Thursday's gains, the energy group has fallen more than 10 percent since the start of the year. On Wednesday, it posted its lowest close since September.   Continued...