CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges lower as financials drag

Tue May 12, 2009 5:00pm EDT
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* TSX index falls 16.44 points, or 0.16 pct, to 10,094.12,

* Golds shine, financials dull

* Index moves in wide range of 9,970.26 to 10,193.08 (Adds details)

TORONTO, May 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed little changed on Tuesday as the hefty energy and financial groups lost ground, but were offset by strength in the mining-heavy materials group.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE fell 16.44 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at 10,094.12 after a session made volatile as swings in oil prices shook energy shares. The index moved in a wide range, falling more than 1 percent to as low as 9,970.26 and rising more than 1 percent as high as 10,193.08.

The materials group held convincingly in positive territory all session, finishing up 4.12 percent, as the price of gold and other metals rallied. The gold price ended 1 percent higher as a weaker U.S. dollar and a bigger U.S. trade deficit bolstered the status of bullion as an alternative investment. [ID:nLB171894]

Gold miners were the key movers to the upside. Barrick Gold ABX.TO rose 3.75 percent to C$40.62, while Goldcorp G.TO gained 4.88 percent to C$39.31. Kinross Gold K.TO, Agnico-Eagle AEM.TO, and Yamana Gold YRI.TO were also among the top 10 advancers.

Apart from the brief charge at the start of the session, financials were the main drag as profit-taking continued after the sector's massive rally since early March.

Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO was down 1.95 percent at C$43.29. Manulife Financial MFC.TO fell 2.75 percent to C$22.60.   Continued...