UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks give up early gains to end flat

Wed May 14, 2008 5:04pm EDT
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*Index trims gains to close little changed

*Soft resource shares offset stronger in financials

*Royal Bank of Canada rises after says will take writedown

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, May 14 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index gave up nearly all its gains on Wednesday, as weak resources undermined a rally by financial issues after Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) said it would take a smaller second-quarter writedown than had been expected.

Miners were among the companies that led the retreat, including Inmet Mining IMN.TO, as the start date of its Las Cruces copper project was put in doubt after Spain's water authority suspended a water permit. Inmet gave up C$9.49, or 12.3 percent, at C$67.50.

The financial sector pushed higher, with shares of Royal up C$1.23, or 2.5 percent, at C$49.85 after Canada's largest bank said it will see a pretax writedown of C$855 million amid liquidity pressures on its assets.

"There's so many rumors floating around on what (banks') exposures are," said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities. "So obviously it's quite nice to have a rally."   Continued...