* TSX ends up 32.24 points at 13,833.64
* Eight of 10 sectors stronger (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, April 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index eked out a modest gain on Wednesday, following two days of heavy losses, as energy and financial issues advanced, but continued uncertainty over commodity prices and global growth kept investors cautious.
Financial shares, up 0.6 percent, led the pack, boosted by better-than-expected results from U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase. [ID:nN13262333] Among the top gainers, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) climbed 1 percent to C$60.42.
The index’s energy group pushed up 0.1 percent as U.S. crude oil prices ended a two-session slide, lifted in volatile trade by data showing U.S. gasoline stockpiles plunged last week and by continued worries about the Libyan conflict. [O/R]
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up 0.1 percent at C$42.09, Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS.TO rose 0.3 percent to C$31.12, and Encana (ECA.TO) closed 0.4 percent higher at C$31.73.
Base-metals miners fell 1.1 percent, tracking weaker copper prices after data showed U.S. auto sales fell and reports said China would make further efforts to quell inflation. [MET/L]
Diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO was down 1.9 percent at C$50.90, while First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) fell 2.9 percent to C$121.30.
“The very fact that the miners are down says something about what’s going on in terms of investors’ psychology towards the global economy,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
“If it was the Canadian financials, it would be a different story, it would be a reflection of the Canadian economy.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 32.24 points, or 0.23 percent, at 13,833.64. Eight of its 10 main sectors were higher. The gold-mining sub-sector was off 0.4 percent, despite a slight uptick in the price of bullion. [GOL/]
Earlier in the day, the index rose more than 1 percent as oil prices gained.
“The fact that we opened strongly and gave back some, and (then) coming back, to me it says it’s just a lot of uncertainty,” Nakamoto said. “If everyone was on the same page we probably would have regained yesterday’s loss.”
Market watchers said bargain-hunting was in play after the index lost more than 400 points on Monday and Tuesday.
“Today, bargain hunters are trying to nibble in the markets, but (without) conviction just yet,” said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.
Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO) dropped 3.4 percent to C$19.80 after investors reacted to delays in its deployment of its wireless service and troubles in keeping cable subscribers as it eases off promotions. [ID:nN11302208]
Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO) rallied 3 percent to C$33.80, after Scotia Capital became the latest brokerage to raise its share-price target on the T-shirt maker. The company built on gains made after announcing earlier this week that it would buy U.S.-based sock maker Gold Toe Moretz Holdings. [ID:nN11236525]
($1=$0.96 Canadian) (Additional reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)