UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks little changed as financials drag

Tue Apr 8, 2008 12:49pm EDT
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(Updates to afternoon)

TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was little changed on Tuesday afternoon, as it struggled to gain traction amid weak financials and a bout of profit-taking after a six-day run up.

A handful of resource companies led the upside, including Teck Cominco TCKb.TO, which was up C$1.26, or 2.7 percent, at C$47.76, while Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) rose C$2.67, or 1.5 percent, to C$178.32.

But softness among gold miners held the overall materials sector back as the price of bullion fell. The sector edged up 0.2 percent, with No. 1 producer Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) off 76 Canadian cents, or 1.7 percent, at C$43.93.

The financial sector led the downside, giving up 0.6 percent, amid renewed worries about the credit crisis after U.S. savings and loan Washington Mutual (WM.N: Quote) said it had obtained a $7 billion capital injection but expected a hefty quarterly loss of $1.1 billion.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) was off 60 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, at C$68.30, while Royal Bank (RY.TO: Quote) slipped 43 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, to C$47.59

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 7.72 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,752.73 with half its 10 main groups higher. It had fallen more than 100 points shortly after the opening bell.

The index had pushed higher for the past six sessions, gaining nearly 4 percent.

The benchmark see-sawed between positive and negative territory early Tuesday afternoon as investors picked up individual stocks rather than entire sectors.   Continued...