CANADA STOCKS-TSX seesaws on robust jobs data, weak oils

Fri Feb 4, 2011 10:49am EST
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 * TSX rises 0.08 percent to 13,851.87
 * Canada jobs leap beyond expectations in January
 * Five sectors rise, five fall
 (Adds details)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
little changed on Friday morning as optimism about the Canadian
economy spurred by robust jobs data was offset by falling oil
and gas issues.
 Figures showed Canadian employment growth was much stronger
than expected in January but U.S. jobs figures for the same
month showed sluggish growth and tempered the market's
strength. [ID:nN04126209] [ID:nN0366997]
 At 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 10.52 points, or 0.08
percent, at 13,851.87. Five of the index's 10 main groups were
higher. Financials, often a play on the economy, were up 0.44
percent, while the index's mining-heavy materials group also
managed to eke out a gain despite soft gold prices.
 "There's no clear direction today," said Michael Sprung,
president of Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
 Energy issues were mixed after their recent runup, and the
sector was off 0.35 percent even though the price of oil rose
and focus remained on Egypt as protests there rolled into their
11th day. [O/R]
 "The interesting point is that oil has been fairly positive
all day and yet the stocks themselves have been weak. I think a
lot of it could be profit-taking," Sprung said.
 Top decliners included Suncor Energy SU.TO, down 1.1
percent at C$41.50, and Barrick Gold ABX.TO, down 0.91
percent at C$47.84.
 Research In Motion RIM.TO was was the index's top
heavyweight gainer, rising more than 2 percent to C$63.50 as
National Bank Financial started coverage on the BlackBerry
maker with an "outperform" rating.
 Other advancers included First Quantum Minerals FM.TO,
which added 4.6 percent to C$130.80 and was up for a fifth
straight session. TD Newcrest boosted its share-price target on
the copper producer on Friday.
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng, Editing by Peter Galloway)