UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks little changed in choppy trading

Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:42pm EST
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(Updates throughout)

TORONTO Dec 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was little changed on Tuesday afternoon, as resource shares recovered earlier losses on worries over the fallout from the global credit squeeze.

The benchmark S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up just 15.71 points, or 0.12 percent, at 13,402.82.

In a turbulent session, the index climbed to 13,535.93 in the morning before reversing into negative territory.

By mid-afternoon, strength returned to half of the TSX's sectors, including the materials sector, which gained 0.6 percent, as firm gold prices helped it shrug off worries over demand.

Kinross Gold (K.TO: Quote) was up 55 Canadian cents, or 3.4 percent, to C$16.73 and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) gained 91 Canadian cents, or 2.4 percent, to C$38.58.

But the influential financial sector remained in negative territory, down 0.5 percent, after earnings from U.S. securities firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote) fueled fears of further fallout linked to the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and resulting credit squeeze.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) was down C$1.14, or 1.5 percent, at C$73.00, while Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) fell 17 Canadian cents, or 0.3 percent, to C$56.20.

The energy sector, which makes up about 30 percent of the market, gained 0.4 percent despite a slump in crude on jitters over economic growth.   Continued...