CANADA STOCKS-TSX tugged lower but RIM hangs on to gains

Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:45pm EDT
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   * TSX ends down 8.79 points at 12,164.56
 * RIM shares end up 0.2 pct after results
 (Updates to close)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
settled slightly lower on Friday, pulled down by weighty
financial and gold shares, but solid results from Research In
Motion RIM.TO helped the bellwether technology giant hang on
to gains.
 On the data front, sentiment was soured by underlying U.S.
inflation pressures that were muted in August and by weaker
consumer morale, which that hit a 13-month low this month,
keeping fears of deflation alive and spurring bets on further
monetary easing. [ID:nN17127427]
 Economically sensitive financial issues slipped 0.2
percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) fell 0.4 percent to C$60.37
but Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was up 0.1 percent at
 Gavin Graham, global strategist at Excel Funds Management,
said the overall decline was surprising given that Canadian
banks are set to increase dividends following relaxed capital
 "All of (the day's data) goes to indicate that 'Oh, maybe
we are seeing a slowing economy in the States', which is not
going to be good news for bank profits," he said.
 He also pointed to news on Thursday -- appearing the next
day on front pages of financial newspapers -- about record U.S.
foreclosures contributing to bad news for the housing sector.
 The TSX gold mining sub-sector declined 0.3 percent,
despite the price of the precious metal hitting a record high
for the third time this week. [GOL/]
 "The gold price is hitting record highs and the gold stocks
will catch up at some stage," said Graham.
 "The market can be surprisingly schizophrenic or able to
ignore what should be pretty straightforward. If the price of
gold is going higher, gold companies will be making more
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 8.79
points at 12,164.56, with four of its 10 main groups lower. But
it was up 0.6 percent for the week.
 Energy stocks eked out a 0.1 percent gain despite a fourth
straight day of declines for oil prices. Base-metal miners
advanced 0.4 percent as copper rallied on reassuring comments
from China's central bank on monetary policy. [O/R] [MET/L]
 RIM closed only 0.2 percent higher at C$47.78, after a
bigger rally earlier in the day. Analysts mostly cut share
price targets for the BlackBerry maker, focusing on tough
competition and a weak U.S. performance rather than RIM's
robust results. [ID:nN17164687]
 Friday marked the quarterly expiration of September equity
futures and option contracts, a convergence known as "quadruple
witching," which usually increases volume and swings in trades.
However, strategists noted that trading was relatively subdued
heading into the close.
 ($1=$1.03 Canadian)