RPT-CANADA STOCKS-TSX firms as banks' rise offsets soft miners
(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: Quote), up 0.55 percent at C$83.97, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), 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: Quote), 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)
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