3 Min Read
* TSX holds gains, up 0.16 percent at 13,222.71
* BMO slides after price target cut
* Talisman rises 3.4 pct after selling stake in gas field (Adds details)
TORONTO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index pared gains on Monday morning, but was held higher as gold-mining and energy issues rose on firmer commodity prices.
Key advancers included miners Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Goldcorp (G.TO), both up more than 1 percent, as the price of gold rose for a second straight session on safe-haven flows driven by tensions in Korea and persistent concern on euro zone debt.
Energy shares were also notable early risers but were losing steam as the price of oil turned lower. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up 1.13 percent at C$36.71.
"It's a good day for commodities. It looks like the year is trying to finish fairly strong," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel. "It's looking like it's trying to lean towards the positive side today."
At 10:27 a.m. (1527 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 21.25 points, or 0.16 percent, at 13,222.71, but down from a session high at 13,262.76. Last week the index lost 0.3 percent.
Five of the index's 10 main groups were higher, led by a 0.69 percent gain in the energy group, and a 0.4 percent rise in the materials sector.
Financials were flat, as broad gains were offset by Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), which fell 2.2 percent to C$56.70 after two analysts cut price targets on the shares of the country's No. 4 bank. [RCH/CA]
Talk of stricter oversight over the country's banks may also weigh bank stocks after their recent rally, Sprung said.
Uranium One UUU.TO jumped 7.8 percent to C$4.69 after Raymond James upgraded its rating on shares of the uranium producer to "outperform" from "market perform".
Talisman Energy TLM.TO rose 3.4 percent to C$21.60 after South African energy group Sasol said it would pay $1.05 billion for a 50 percent stake in the independent oil producer's Farrell Creek shale gas assets. [ID:nLDE6BJ04G]
"There was certainly some good news from Talisman this morning, selling that gas field for a lot more money than people might have thought they would get," Sprung said.
($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)