RPT-CANADA STOCKS-TSX firms as banks' rise offsets soft miners

Thu May 19, 2011 4:52pm EDT
 
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 (Repeats to widen distribution)
 * Main index rises 0.13 percent to 13,625.09
 * Bank stocks rise heading into next week's results
 * Weaker metal prices weigh on mining stocks
 By Jeffrey Hodgson
 TORONTO, May 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed little changed on Thursday as gains in financial shares
ahead of bank earnings next week were offset by softer mining
issues, which followed metal prices lower.
 Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO, up 0.55 percent at C$83.97,
and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO, which rose 0.26 percent to
C$58.55, were among the most influential gainers.
 Financial stocks as a whole rose 0.41 percent and played
the biggest role of any sector helping the index strengthen.
 "There's been a lot of people talking about dividend
increases in the banks. I don't think you're going to see it,"
said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at
RKH Investments.
 "I think that's what's driven them. The earnings are going
to be OK. I don't think they're going to be spectacular."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed up 17.84 points, or 0.13 percent, at
13,625.09.
 The materials sector, which accounts for about 22 percent
of the index's value and includes heavyweight mining stocks,
fell 0.38 percent and was the biggest drag on the market.
 Heavyweight decliners included Potash Corp of Saskatchewan,
POT.TO, down 2.92 percent at C$51.93, and Goldcorp Inc
G.TO, which fell 0.72 percent to C$46.86.
 Gold, silver and copper prices all fell as weak U.S.
housing and manufacturing data and uncertainty about the end of
the U.S. Federal Reserve's bond-buying program dragged down
commodities across the board. [GOL/] [MET/L]
 The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a global
commodities benchmark, fell 1.43 percent.
 ($1=$0.97 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)