CANADA STOCKS-TSX clings to tiny gain, lifted by oil shares

Thu Jul 7, 2011 4:39pm EDT
 
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 * TSX edges up 2.90 points to close at 13,406.00
 * Energy shares hold firm to keep overall index higher
 * Four of 10 index sectors up
 (Updates to close)
 TORONTO, July 7 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market
index finished flat on Thursday, erasing gains it had held
through the day just moments before the session end as market
players squared positions ahead of Friday's highly anticipated
U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for June.
 Most of the index's gain was drawn from its oil group,
which rose 0.68 percent as the price of oil rallied. Driving
oil prices higher was U.S. data that showed a brighter hiring
climate in the U.S. private sector, a fall in new claims for
jobless benefits, and stronger same-store sales at key U.S.
retailers. [ID:nN1E7660BF] [O/R]
 Suncor Energy SU.TO, up 1.47 percent at C$39.22, Cenovus
Energy CVE.TO, up 2.95 percent at C$36.60, and Canadian
Natural Resources CNQ.TO, up 1.3 percent at C$41.67, were the
three most influential gainers on the index.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE eked out a tiny gain of 2.90 points to close at
13,406.00. Six of the index's 10 sectors were lower.
 "The (U.S.) jobless claims were marginally better than what
people were expecting but the big numbers come tomorrow," said
Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
 "Whatever that unemployment number is, those payroll
numbers are going to set the tone for the whole market."
 ($1=$0.96 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)