CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends flat as U.S. data, Sino-Forest drag

Fri Jun 3, 2011 5:01pm EDT
 
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 * TSX down 1.59 points, or 0.01 percent to 13,517.91
 * Eight of the index's 10 main groups lower
 (Updates with details, comments)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
finished flat on Friday, as dismal U.S. jobs data and a plunge
in shares of Sino-Forest Corp TRE.TO offset gains in
financial, energy and gold stocks.
 Materials stocks, which include forestry companies, fell
0.85 percent and played the biggest role in leading the market
lower due to the 63.83 percent decline in Sino-Forest.
 A damning short-seller's report accused Sino-Forest of
theft and fraud even as the Canadian-listed company denied
there was a problem. [ID:nN03131872]
 "With any Chinese-related companies, investors are taking
the view 'guilty until proven innocent'," said Ian Nakamoto,
director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
 "They came out with a statement denying these claims, but
investors are still going take a jaundiced view."
 Its shares were the biggest single drag on the index, 3.5
times greater than the next most influential decliner, Research
in Motion RIM.TO.
 RIM fell 3.37 percent to C$38.15 after a report showed the
BlackBerry maker gave up more ground to Apple and Google in the
hypercompetitive U.S. smartphone market. [ID:nL3E7H31VV]
 Toronto stocks initially fell more than 1 percent early on
Friday after a report showed U.S. employers hired far fewer
workers than expected in May and the jobless rate climbed to
9.1 percent, stoking worries of continued economic weakness.
[ID:nOAT004818]
 "The concern there is, does this further underscore a more
meaningful slowing in the economy? The impact for the Canadian
economy is if there's a slowing in the U.S. economy -- they're
obviously our largest trading partner -- do they need less of
what we have that we produce?," said Peter Chandler, a senior
vice-president at Canaccord Wealth Management.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE finished down 1.59 points, or 0.01 percent to
13,517.91, paring nearly all of its 1 percent slump shortly
after the open.
 Eight of the index's 10 main groups finished lower.
 The index fell more than 2 percent on the week. On
Wednesday, the index saw its biggest one-day slide since
August.
 Financial stocks reversed earlier losses to finish up 0.36
percent. Toronto Dominion Bank TD.TO had the biggest positive
influence on the index, rising 1.16 percent to C$81.69, while
Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO, another top five mover, was up
0.84 percent at C$58.48.
 Energy issues, which swung between positive and negative
territory finished the day up 0.51 percent, with Suncor Energy
 SU.TO leading the group higher with a 1.2 percent rise to
C$39.60.
 Bullion was a bright spot on the resource heavy TSX, as the
data and weak U.S. dollar sent prices higher, with investors
eyeing the safe-haven precious metal. Gold miners rose 0.11
percent. [GOL/]
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)