CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed, dampened by insurer results

Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:35am EST
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 * TSX down 8.32 points at 11,278.01
 * Manulife, Sun Life push TSX lower
 * Greece rescue plan fails to lift index significantly
 (Adds details, quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market
index was little changed on Thursday morning as quarterly
results from two of Canada's big life insurers missed
expectations, undermining cautious market optimism about a
financial rescue plan for Greece.
 Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote), down 2.6 percent at C$18.99,
and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO: Quote), which slid 4.2 percent to
C$30.06, topped downside movers.
 Both companies notched sharply higher quarterly profits on
Thursday on stock market gains and stronger sales, but both
missed market expectations. [ID:nN11240504]
 "I think it's shoot first and ask questions later," Barry
Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin
Financial Services, said of the market reaction to the insurer
 "To me this is the final kitchen sink, it's let's see if
there are any more writedowns, let's clean it up ... and make
sure we're in good shape for 2010. On an earnings basis, the
insurers look very cheap," he added.
 At 10:14 a.m. (1514 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 8.32 points at
 A deal struck by European leaders to provide financial aid
to Greece on Thursday failed to lift the market significantly
higher. [ID:nLDE61A0W2] That's likely because the market
rallied earlier in the week on speculation that a deal was in
the works, Schwartz said.
 "This is sell on the news. Now that Greece is going to be
rescued people are trying to focus on what the next thing to
worry about is," he said.
 Cushioning the index's fall were resource shares, including
Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which rose 3 percent to C$36.59, and
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), up 0.9 percent at C$38.23, as gold and
base metals prices were firmer. [GOL/] [MET/L]
 ($1=$1.06 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)