CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed on mixed data; TD gains

Thu Sep 1, 2011 11:07am EDT
 
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   * TSX down 6.17 points at 12,762.53
 * TD Bank climbs 2.1 percent on strong results
 (Updates with details, commentary)
 By Claire Sibonney
 TORONTO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday after after better-than-expected
earnings from Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO and decent U.S.
manufacturing data helped offset weak global economic reports.
 The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector ticked
down to a crawl in August but fared better than economists had
forecast, with the index of factory activity above the 50
level, which separates expansion from contraction.
[ID:nN1E7800J6]
 As U.S. crude futures turned positive, Cenovus Energy
CVE.TO rose 1.9 percent to C$36.07, and Suncor Energy SU.TO
gained 0.5 percent to C$31.40. [O/R]
 "Any time you get over 50 in recent days it's been
positive," said John Kurgan, senior market strategist at MF
Global Canada.
 "It leads to an economy that is struggling to try to muddle
along and get better, but the employment is a much bigger
number ... People are looking for any kind of sign, they'll
pick this thing apart on Friday," he added, referring to the
release of the closely watched U.S. non-farm payrolls report.
 Data on Thursday also showed U.S. jobless claims fell as
expected, another mildly positive sign for the market.
[ID:nN1E7800A8]
 At 10:43 a.m. (1443 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 6.17 points at
12,762.53. Light volume contributed to earlier swings with many
traders away ahead of the Labour Day holiday weekend.
 TD was the most influential gainer, climbing 2.1 percent to
C$79.07, after reporting its profit rose 23 percent due to
stronger loan volumes at its Canadian and U.S. retail units. TD
also raised its dividend by 3 percent. [ID:nN1E77U1CO]
 The strong result and dividend increase - the second bank
to up its dividend in recent days - capped a relatively healthy
quarter for the country's big banks.
 Dragging on the gains however was Royal Bank of Canada
RY.TO, which missed earnings estimates last week. Royal was
down 0.8 percent at C$49.72.
 Gold miners also sagged 0.7 percent on weak bullion prices.
Kinross Gold K.TO fell 2.1 percent to C$16.68 and Barrick
Gold ABX.TO slipped 0.8 percent to C$49.46. [GOL/]
 Dismal European economic data also weighed on confidence as
euro zone manufacturing activity contracted for the first time
in almost two years in August, underlining investor concerns
about a deteriorating global growth picture. [IDnL5E7K10NK]
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)