CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as weak golds offset oils, Greece deal

Mon May 3, 2010 1:32pm EDT
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   * TSX up 6.70 points, or 0.05 percent, at 12,217.40
 * Oil prices, Greece rescue package helps lift TSX
 * Miners pressured by profit-taking, Australia tax
 (Updates to midday, adds quotes)
 By Jennifer kwan
 TORONTO, May 3 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
little changed Monday afternoon as support from firm oil prices
and cautious optimism over a Greek aid package was offset by
weaker gold issues, which were pulled lower by a bout of
 Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO, the world's biggest producer,
slumped 2.4 percent to C$43.25, while Goldcorp Inc G.TO lost
1.9 percent at C$43.09. Agnico-Eagle AEM.TO fell 1.9 percent
to C$63.23.
 Gold prices rose to a five-month high but the move was not
enough to lift mining stocks as investors took profits after a
recent rally, said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue
Investment Management. [GOL/]
 Harris added the safe-haven appeal of gold stocks was
dimmed slightly as investors were cautiously comforted by a
European financial rescue package for Greece. [TOP/NEWS]
 "On paper they've reached a deal. There's a higher
probability they get their money and they won't default on
their debt," he said.
 Harris added the resource-laden TSX was also pressured by
news the Australian government would introduce a 40 percent tax
on mining profits to help raise workers' retirement incomes,
sparking warnings that huge new investments could be lost.
 "I think maybe that has an impact because people are
worried that may happen more globally," said Harris. The
materials sector, home to miners and fertilizer companies, fell
2 percent.
 At 12:52 p.m. (1652 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 6.70 points, or 0.05
percent, at 12,217.40.
 Offsetting the weakness was strength in financial issues,
up 0.7 percent, benefiting in part from data indicating the
U.S. economy was on firmer footing, as well as details of the
Greece package. [.N]
 Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the country's biggest lender,
was up 1.6 percent to C$62.57.
 Energy shares climbed 0.3 percent as oil prices rose above
$86 a barrel on expectations of improving demand in a
recovering U.S. economy and on concerns about the impact of the
big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [O/R]
 Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO, Canada's biggest oil company,
gained 0.7 percent to C$34.98.
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)