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

Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:21pm EDT
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 * TSX ends down 8.79 points at 12,164.56
 * RIM shares end up 0.2 pct after results
 (Adds details, quotes)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed slightly lower on Friday, pulled down by weighty
financial and gold shares, while BlackBerry-maker Research In
Motion RIM.TO hung on to only a small gain after being up
strongly early in the day on robust quarterly results.
 On the data front, sentiment was soured by figures showing
muted U.S. inflation pressures in August and weaker consumer
morale, which kept deflation fears alive and spurred bets that
there will be further monetary policy easing in the United
Sates. [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 decline was surprising given expectations that
Canadian banks are set to increase dividends following the
relaxation of capital requirements.
 "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 of record-high
foreclosures in the U.S. housing sector. [ID:nNLLFKE6GG]
 Toronto gold miners declined 0.3 percent, lagging the price
of the precious metal, which hit record highs for the third
time this week. [GOL/]
 "Maybe there's some profit-taking coming in, or people are
switching from the stocks to gold ... gold stocks will catch up
at some stage," Graham said.
 "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
 Alamos Gold AGI.TO fell more than 3 percent to C$17.37
but Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), the world's No. 1 producer,
ended 0.9 percent higher at C$47.52.
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 8.79
points at 12,164.56, but six of its 10 main groups were
actually higher. It gained 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]
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) rose 0.6 percent to C$33.23, and
First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote) jumped 2.7 percent to C$67.45.
 RIM closed only 0.2 percent higher at C$47.78, after a
bigger rally earlier in the day. Some analysts cut share price
targets for the BlackBerry maker, focusing on tough competition
and a weak U.S. performance rather than RIM's robust results.
 Friday marked the quarterly expiry 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)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)