CANADA STOCKS-Toronto shares little changed; banks, energy slip

Tue Feb 3, 2009 11:12am EST
 
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* Nine sectors in the red, materials lone sector higher

* TransCanada down 2.1 pct, ups dividend, profit falls

* Mega Brands jump 69 pct on Microsoft licensing deal (Adds details)

TORONTO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index extended losses for a fourth consecutive session on Tuesday after edging up at the open, as recently beaten-down energy and financial issues continued to falter.

The energy group fell 0.6 percent as the price of oil held near $40 a barrel. Financial issues slipped 0.43 percent as concerns continued about the economy and the future of the U.S. banking sector.

Materials were the lone sector of 10 main groups higher, up 1.5 percent. It was supported by gold issues, many of which were among the most influential movers, that rose alongside the price of the precious metal.

The financials, energy and materials make up about three-quarters of the index's weighting and their influence usually drives the market.

"There are no major catalysts on the way up or on the way down." said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.

"Over the last 12 days we've been in a very tight range. The market is clearly looking for direction."   Continued...