CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as weak golds outweigh stronger banks

Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:08am EDT
 
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   * TSX down 0.91 of a point to 12,337.42
 * Seven of the 10 main sectors firmer, golds weigh
 (Updates with details, commentary)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
little changed on Wednesday morning as sliding gold prices and
profit-taking after the previous session's big rally offset
optimism over bank earnings and positive U.S. data.
 Financials were the most influential gainers on the TSX,
rising 1.5 percent. They were buoyed by surprisingly strong
Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) earnings on Tuesday, the first in a
wave of bank earnings reports over the next two weeks.
 Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rose 2.1 percent to C$51.12,
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) added 2.1 percent to C$74.85, and
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) advanced 1.8 percent to C$52.34.
 On the U.S. data front, new orders for long-lasting
manufactured goods surged in July and the Congressional Budget
Office offered an upbeat forecast on the worrisome budget
deficits. [ID:nN1E77N096] [ID:nN1E77N0JA]
 "Risk appetite is getting back on and you can see that from
the recent price action in gold, said Francis Campeau, a broker
at MF Global Canada in Montreal, noting bullion prices dropped
nearly 5 percent from their record high in the past two
sessions. [GOL/]
 At 10:38 a.m. (1438 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 0.91 of a point to
12,337.42. Seven of the 10 main groups were stronger.
 Gold miners were down 3.3 percent, holding back the wider
gains. The market was also weighed down by profit-taking after
its the more than 2 percent rally on Tuesday, the TSX's biggest
rally in nearly two weeks.
 Goldcorp Inc (G.TO: Quote), which plunged 5.2 percent, was the
heaviest laggard on the index, followed by Barrick Gold Corp
(ABX.TO: Quote), down 3.8 percent to C$48.19, and Kinross Gold (K.TO: Quote),
off 3.7 percent to C$16.32.
 "I'm keeping my eye on gold, it's been trading as a kind of
reverse indicator to the equity market and its recent weakness
is quite market favorable; it's telling you something," said.
Campeau.
 Investors were also focusing on Friday's highly anticipated
speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, though there
was growing doubt he would offer hints about more economic
stimulus.
 Speculation has been widespread in financial markets that
Bernanke will use his speech at a central bankers conference in
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to signal a new monetary offensive to
support a faltering U.S. economy.
 "The street is perhaps scared of any sort of positive
intervention by the Fed that they will come up with something
to 'save the world' again, so I think shorts are being
cautious," added Campeau.
  ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)