UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks little changed, RIM takes hit

Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:58pm EST
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(Updates with official closing numbers, adds details)

TORONTO Jan 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index ended little changed on Friday, dragged down by nagging worries of a recession in the United States and a drop in Research In Motion after an analyst downgrade.

The BlackBerry-maker was the biggest drag on the index after the downgrade, which was due to fears of a U.S, downturn. RIM RIM.TO finished down C$6.10, or 6 percent, at C$95.70, while the tech sector was off 1.7 percent.

Further worries over the economic health of the United States contributed to a broad-based selloff, heightened by concerns of a slowdown in consumer spending.

The latest jobs data added to the gloomy mood. Statistics Canada reported early in the day that job losses in December were worse than expected and the heaviest since May 2003, which had investors betting the Bank of Canada would cut interest rates.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 10.08 points, or 0.07 percent, at 13,632.57 with eight of its 10 main groups ending on the downside.

The consumer discretionary sector led the decline, giving up 1.9 percent, while Shaw Communications Inc SJRb.TO fell after the company posted a gain in first-quarter profit but revenue missed expectations. The cable and satellite-TV company was down 84 Canadian cents, or 3.7 percent, at C$22.00.

Gains in resource issues, particularly gold producers, cushioned the fall, while the price of bullion touched yet another record high.

The materials sector and the gold subsector climbed 1.6 percent and 2 percent respectively.   Continued...