CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as oils offset softer materials

Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:58am EDT
 
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* TSX down 0.12 percent at 10,527.58

* Materials down 0.77 percent

* Energy up 0.26 percent (Adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, July 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was flat on Tuesday morning as a retreat by the materials sector was offset by energy issues, which strengthened with the price of crude.

The mining-laden materials sector fell 0.77 percent, as gold stocks dropped despite firm bullion prices. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) was down 1.07 percent at C$38.97 and Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) was down 2.03 percent at C$22.22.

The energy sector was up 0.26 percent as the price of oil rose to around $64 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) shares rose 2.06 percent to C$50.51, Suncor (SU.TO: Quote) was up 0.94 percent at C$35.52 and Petro-Canada PCA.TO was up 0.89 percent at C$45.30.

"Energy prices are defying gravity because, while storage increases, energy continues to push ahead," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

"The markets are looking across the valley, the better economy will mean more consumption."

At 10:27 a.m. (1427 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 13.13 points, or 0.12 percent, at 10,527.58. Six of its 10 main groups were lower.

The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate at 0.25 percent on Tuesday, as expected, and gave a rosier economic forecast, while softening its language on the impact on exports of a strong Canadian dollar. [ID:nBAC000314]

"The rate decision is that our rates are already at very low levels. It's not going to have an impact on the market," said Ing. ($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Reporting by Nina Lex; editing by Rob Wilson)