CANADA STOCKS-Cameco surge keeps TSX near break-even mark
* TSX ends flat, down 0.27 of a point at 11,538.12
* Gold, oil prices off highs, Barrick, Suncor pressured
* Cameco jumps on force majeure reports at BHP-owned mine
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed little changed on Tuesday, propped up by a late surge in Cameco Corp (CCO.TO: Quote) shares on the possibility of a jump in uranium prices after early strength in Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) and other gold miners dissipated on lower gold prices.
Most of the heavyweight action was in resource-based issues as prices for gold and oil, key drivers of the commodity-heavy TSX, came off recent highs. [GOL/][O/R]
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) topped all decliners, falling 2 percent to C$76.66, and fellow oil company Suncor (SU.TO: Quote) fell 0.7 percent to C$39.87. The price of oil retreated from a one-year high over $80 a barrel.
Gold slipped below $1,060 an ounce and drove Barrick down 1.1 percent to C$39.66, making it the third biggest heavyweight decliner on the index.
Offsetting the drag from oils and golds was uranium producer Cameco, the top gainer. It climbed more than 6 percent after a report that force majeure was declared at an BHP Billiton-owned (BLT.L: Quote) (BHP.AX: Quote) uranium mine. [ID:nN20447345]
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished off 0.27 of a point at 11,538.12.
"Overall it just hasn't been a very robust day for the Canadian market," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.
The index rose about 50 points early in the session after a handful of upbeat U.S. corporate earnings buoyed sentiment, but that was soon offset by disappointing U.S. economic data, which pulled the overall index about 40 points lower.
New construction of U.S. homes rose less than expected in September, while U.S. producer prices posted an unexpected decline, largely on falling energy prices. [ID:nN20424995]
($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)
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