CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed, golds provide support

Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:34am EDT
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 *TSX up 0.97 of a point at 12,145.81
 *Four of 10 main sectors higher
 (Adds details, quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday morning as heavyweight banks
retreated after their recent rally but gold miners rose on
record-high gold prices.
 Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO was down 1.2 percent at
C$53.83, and Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO fell 1.1 percent to
 Banks rallied earlier this week on a global agreement on
new bank capitalization regulations. Regulators, aiming to
prevent a repeat of the international credit crisis, agreed
last weekend on rules to raise bank capital requirements. The
deal paved the way for Canada's financial watchdog to end a
moratorium on bank dividend increases and major acquisitions.
 "We had nice pop in all the banking stocks on the feeling
that dividend increases are imminent," Barry Schwartz, vice
president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services,
said. "Maybe some of that excitement is now in the market and
people still have to focus on earnings for these banks. It's
still an uncertain economy."
 At 10:07 a.m. (1407 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE was up 0.97 of a point at 12,145.81, with four of its
10 main sectors higher.
 Energy shares, down 0.2 percent, also weighed on the market
as oil prices fell toward $75 a barrel ahead of the expected
reopening of a North American pipeline that will restore crude
supplies to U.S. refiners. [O/R]
 Offsetting the weakness was strength in gold miners as the
price of bullion rushed to a record high above $1,275 an ounce.
 "Many people are now viewing gold as an alternative to
holding dollars," Schwartz said. "We have a real worry that the
U.S. deficit is out of control and that doesn't seem to be
abating any time soon."
 Barrick Gold ABX.TO, the world's No. 1 producer, rose 1.3
percent to C$46.81.
 Also supporting the index was Potash Corp POT.TO, up 1.6
percent at C$152.89. The Globe and Mail said on Thursday that
Potash is trying to stitch together a consortium led by China
to back a management buyout to trump BHP Billiton's BHP.AX
$38.6 billion hostile takeover offer. [ID:nSGE68F0BA]
 ($1=$1.03 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)