CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed in quiet pre-holiday trade

Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:02am EST
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* TSX down 0.21 percent at 11,530.39

* Thin volumes expected for next few days (Adds details, quote)

By Irene Kuan

TORONTO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was little changed on Tuesday morning with market watchers suggesting the index will be largely directionless in thin, pre-holiday trading.

With no major drivers in either direction, a mix of companies topped the list of influential decliners, with Research in Motion RIM.TO lower by 2.3 percent at C$72.20, and Barrick Gold ABX.TO down 1.5 percent at C$60.31.

The situation was similar on the upside, with Suncor Energy SU.TO up 0.3 percent at C$35.90, Manulife Financial MFC.TO rising 0.4 percent to C$19.02, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO up by 0.6 percent at C$39.71.

At 10:50 a.m. (1550 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 24.33 points, or 0.21 percent, at 11,530.39.

"That's just going to be the flavor of the day, and the next few days," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.

"A lot of people are done for the year, a lot of books are closed for the year. Volumes are not heavy and I think we're just going to coast or drift over the next few days without any direction

Oil prices slipped to around $73 per barrel, while gold hit 6-1/2 week lows, hurt by a firmer U.S. dollar which analysts see pressuring bullion into the new year. [O/R] [GOL/] (Reporting by Irene Kuan; editing by Rob Wilson)