CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed, Suncor spurs oils higher

Wed Feb 2, 2011 11:01am EST
 
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 *TSX edges up 0.05 percent to 13,719.67
 *Suncor rises as Q4 profit triples, tops market
 *Gold miners are main drag
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
little changed on Wednesday morning as a rally in energy
shares, spurred by forecast-beating results from Suncor Energy
(SU.TO: Quote), was offset by declining gold miners.  
 Suncor, Canada's biggest energy company, rose after it said
fourth-quarter profit almost tripled, helped by improved
margins and higher refined product sales. [ID:nN01139180]
 It pared early gains, but was still up 1.35 percent at
C$42.17.
 The index's energy group was up 0.2 percent. Other oil and
gas advancers included Talisman Energy TLM.TO, up 0.69
percent at C$23.20, and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote), up 0.23 percent
at C$44.10.
Gold mining shares fell as the price of the precious metal
eased after well-received U.S. economic data and a spate of
upbeat corporate earnings deflected interest from bullion
towards higher-risk, higher-yielding assets.
 The index's materials group, home to gold miners, was down
0.13 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) shed 1.34 percent to
C$47.20, while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) fell 0.91 percent to C$40.42.
 At 10:42 a.m. (1542 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 7.05 points, or 0.05
percent, at 13,719.67. Six of the index's 10 main groups were
lower, however.
 "The environment is still very good for share prices," said
Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall &
MacTier. "We have low interest rates, earnings that are doing
better than expected -- Suncor is a good case in point -- and I
think valuations are reasonable. You add that all together and
you make for a good market, which we're having."
 In economic news, U.S. private employers added 187,000 jobs
in January, topping forecasts, according to a private report.
The data adds to the recent run of stronger figures that
suggest the global economic recovery is gaining speed.
[ID:nN02187589]
 In individual company news, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote)
rose 1.53 percent to C$3.99 after it revealed plans to raise
annual output at Zambia's largest copper mine to 400,000 tonnes
a year by 2015 from 250,000 tonnes. [ID:nLDE7110QM]
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)