* TSX up 0.11 percent at 11,708.05
* Financials help lead way higher, golds main drag (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was slightly higher on Friday morning as firmer banks and insurance companies were largely offset by retreating gold issues.
Trade was also somewhat cautious as the market digested an unexpected hike in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s discount rate. That move suggested to some that the U.S. central bank was close to raising its fed funds rate, its main policy tool, despite assurances from Fed policymakers to the contrary. [ID:nFEDAHEAD] [ID:nSGE61I036].
“I would view (the Fed’s move) as a positive sign because it’s saying to U.S. banks ... start getting some of that cash out to the economy,” said Barry Schwartz, vice-president, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
“If banks start doing that, it would be another boost to the economy.”
On the downside, gold producers were the main drag after rallying earlier in the week on healthy quarterly results. Kinross Gold (K.TO) fell 2.18 percent to C$19.25, while Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) lost 2.79 percent to C$13.22.
At 10:25 a.m. (1525 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 13.21 points, or 0.11 percent, at 11,708.05. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were higher.
Solid quarterly results this week from some blue-chip companies have helped keep the TSX buoyant for seven straight sessions.
On Friday, Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO) added to the growing list of estimate-beaters with a strong performance from its renewable power and office property businesses. The stock was among the leading heavyweight advancers, up 2.1 percent at C$24.44. [ID:nSGE61I0DU]
$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson