CANADA STOCKS-TSX firms after fitful early trade

Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:09am EDT
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 * TSX up 0.04 percent at 12,654.84
 * 7 of 10 sectors higher in volatile trade
 (Adds details)
 TORONTO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
vacillated around the unchanged mark on Thursday morning as the
market weighed another round of strong U.S. corporate earnings
against weaker commodity prices.
 Energy shares were among the most volatile of the index's
groups, up 0.03 percent, as oil slipped towards $82 per barrel,
after a slight slowing in Chinese economic growth and following
another build in U.S. crude oil stocks.
 The heavily weighted materials group was down 0.05 percent.
Base-metals stocks were lifted by higher copper prices and by a
0.23 percent rise in the Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
.CRB, a global commodities benchmark. But bullion prices were
down and seemingly on course for the first weekly fall in 12
weeks, which pulled down gold-mining shares.
 Financials also straddled the unchanged mark, consolidating
after four straight advancing sessions, while industrials rose
0.4 percent.
 Key advancing stocks included Teck Resources TCKb.TO, up
1.52 percent to C$46, while Talisman Energy TLM.TO gained 0.7
percent to C$18.20. Bombardier (BBDb.TO: Quote) climbed 3.16 percent
to C$5.23.
 On the downside, natural gas producer Encana (ECA.TO: Quote)
extended losses a day after releasing  disappointing results
and cutting its outlook, while Kinross Gold (K.TO: Quote) gave up 0.86
percent to C$18.43. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was off 0.32
percent at C$56.67.
 "It's a mixed performance today. I think people are just
digesting yesterday's moves. You had some good numbers out of
the U.S.," said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.
 "The market's got a bit of a pulse right now."
 At 10:40 a.m. (1440 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was 4.92 points, or 0.04
percent, higher at 12,654.84, bouncing around in a 45-point
range early in the session. Seven of the index's 10 main groups
were up.
 Helping to steady the market, a regional U.S. Federal
Reserve report showed modest improvement in business conditions
in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic area. [ID:nEAP104L00]
 Confidence in U.S. corporate results firmed with results
from Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N: Quote), online auctioneer eBay Inc
(EBAY.O: Quote), Netflix Inc (NFLX.O: Quote), the DVD rental and movie
streaming service, and miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold.
(FCX.N: Quote).
 Some fears about China's recent rate hike ebbed after a
batch of data showing a slowdown in economic growth, albeit to
a still healthy level, was taken as a sign that there may not
be much more credit tightening. [ID:nTOE69K00X] [MKTS/GLOB]  
 Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) was a stock to watch on Thursday as
the Saskatchewan government was set to reveal its
recommendation on BHP Billiton's hostile bid for the fertilizer
company, which is based in the province. Potash Corp was down
0.5 percent at C$145.15. [ID:nN20221123]
 ($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)