CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed despite strong metals
* TSX down 2.23 points at 12,495.77
* Nine of the 10 key sectors lower (Updates with details, quote)
TORONTO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday morning as weak U.S. employment data and profit-taking offset the lift that came from firmer commodity prices.
Data on U.S. private-sector hiring in September was unexpectedly bearish, making the market cautious ahead of Friday's crucial nonfarm payroll data.
On Tuesday the TSX index hit its highest level in two years in a broad rally led by surging commodity prices and speculation governments would take further steps to stimulate the economy.
"I think there is a little bit of negative sentiment going into the market today and there's probably some profit-taking as a result of yesterday seeping into the market," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.
At 10:24 a.m. (1424 GMT) the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 2.23 points at 12,495.77. Nine of the index's 10 key sectors were in the red.
The heavyweight financial group was slightly lower, down 0.24 percent, with Sun Life Financial SLF.TO down 1.3 percent at C$26.75, and Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO falling 1.3 percent to C$12.77.
The key materials sector, home to miners, was the only gainer, up 0.8 percent on higher metals prices.
A weak U.S. dollar pushed gold to a record high on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar softened. Copper also powered its way to two-year highs as investors bet inflationary pressures will boost commodity prices.
Barrick Gold ABX.TO climbed 2 percent to C$49.15 while base-metals miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO rose 1.3 percent to C$44.65.
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)
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