CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends flat as oils offset weaker golds

Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:49pm EST
 
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* TSX ticks up 9 points, ends 3-day retreat

* Energy sector up 3.3 pct as oil price climbs

* Gold miners slump as bullion retreats (Adds details, quote)

TORONTO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index managed to eke out a small gain on Thursday, as energy issues strengthened on higher oil prices, managing to offset weaker gold miners, which retreated along with the price of gold.

The heavily weighted energy sector broke a two-session streak in the red to end 3.3 percent higher as oil CLc1 prices soared more than 14 percent to above $39 a barrel on an unexpected fall in crude inventories. [ID:nSIN33588]

Suncor Energy SU.TO, the top influential advancer, rose 7.9 percent to C$23.95 as the stock was upgraded by Barclays Capital. [ID:nBNG112489], Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO climbed 2.5 percent to C$40.36.

EnCana Corp ECA.TO rose 1.4 percent to C$50.09 and Petro-Canada PCA.TO climbed 3 percent to C$26.89.

The hefty financial services sector started the day in positive territory but fell back as concerns about the recession and the global banking sector weighed. Manulife Financial MFC.TO dropped 3.9 percent to C$14.50, while Bank of Montreal BMO.TO fell 2.3 percent to C$26.00. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO bucked the trend, rising 3.5 percent at C$27.93.

"People are still not convinced the financials are out of the woods," said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd in Calgary.   Continued...