*TSX up 17 points at 12,626.07
*Eight of 10 index sectors higher (Updates with details, commentary)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was little changed on Monday morning as positive U.S. earnings lifted bank shares, helping to offset weakness in miners.
Financials were up 0.5 percent after U.S. bank Citigroup reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, stealing the spotlight from fears about the exposure of major U.S. banks to foreclosure losses. [ID:nN18138072] [ID:nN11106777]
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) rose 0.6 percent to C$55.88, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) added 0.4 percent to C$74.55.
“The U.S. liked Citibank earnings, their financials seem to be better and I think that has spilled over to our banks,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
Royal Bank was also in focus after it offered to buy London-listed fund manager BlueBay Asset Management BBAY.L for around 963 million pounds ($1.5 billion) as Canada’s biggest bank looked to cement its position as a top 10 global wealth manager. [ID:nLDE69H06R]
Weighing on the market, however, copper, gold and oil prices were all under pressure after the U.S. dollar rose on the notion that its recent hefty losses had been overdone. [MET/L] [GOL/] [O/R]
The index’s materials sector, down 0.7 percent, was the hardest hit as Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) fell 1.4 percent to C$44.37 and Teck Resources TCKb.TO lost 0.9 percent to C$45.59.
At 10:22 a.m. (1422 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 17 points, or 0.13 percent, at 12,626.07. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were higher, including the powerhouse energy sector, up 0.2 percent.
“Oil has been above $80 which is good for all the stocks,” Kinsey said. “I think the third quarter (earnings) for all the energy stocks, when they come out, will be very very good and as long as the commodity stays strong, we should have a good fourth quarter as well.”
Potash Corp (POT.TO) slipped 0.4 percent to C$146.24 after a newspaper report said the province of Alberta’s provincial money manager was leading discussions with some of Canada’s pension funds on a plan to preserve the independence of the world’s largest fertilizer maker. [ID:nN18258207]
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion RIM.TO, off 0.7 percent at C$48.87, announced the launch of new Middle East services after resolving a row with the United Arab Emirates over data security. [ID:nLDE69H0EL]
First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), down 1.5 percent at 81.85, plans to buy Antares Minerals ANM.V, owner of a major undeveloped copper deposit in Peru, moving into Latin America at a time when license issues have halted its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [ID:nLDE69H0B1]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway)