CANADA STOCKS-Golds and banks help TSX squeeze out gain

Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:59pm EST
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 * TSX up 18.64 points, or 0.16 percent, at 11,979.70
 * Financial sector helps keep TSX above water
 * China inflation data weighs on miners
 (Updates to close, quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
eked out a small gain on Thursday, closing higher for a second
straight session, lifted by strength in financials and gold
 The financial sector rose 0.4 percent, with Bank of
Montreal BMO.TO up 0.4 percent at C$59.40, and Royal Bank of
Canada RY.TO up 0.5 percent at C$58.05.
 U.S. bank shares rose on Thursday, and Canadian banks
followed their lead, as bipartisan talks on an overhaul of
financial regulation failed in the U.S. Senate. [ID:nN11219944]
 Gold-mining shares firmed on largely steady gold prices.
Gains were kept in check by lingering concerns about possible
monetary tightening in China. Barrick Gold ABX.TO added 1
percent to finish at C$40.05.
 Threatening to pull the market lower was the base-metals
sector, which weakened on concern that higher Chinese inflation
would spawn interest rate hikes, which would slow Chinese
economic activity and demand for resources.[ID:nTOE6290B5]
 Teck Resources TCKb.TO dropped 1.4 percent to C$41.03,
and copper miner Quadra Mining QUA.TO fell 2.2 percent to
C$17.19. [METL/]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE finished the day up 18.64 points, or 0.16 percent, at
11,979.70. The index traded in a tight range and hovered at the
break even level for most of the day with no real drivers.
 "I think there's a stalemate between those that think the
market are going higher and those that think they've reached
some form of equilibrium or state of relative fair value," said
Tim Burt, president and chief investment officer at Cardinal
Capital Management Inc. in Winnipeg, Manitoba. "Until you get
one side taking leadership, the market just seems to be stuck."
($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)