CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends flat as Libya crisis buffets markets

Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:14pm EST
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   * TSX falls 7.49 points, or 0.05 percent, to 13,956.19
 * Eight of the index's 10 main groups finish lower
 * Energy group up 1.34 percent, materials up 1.1 percent
 (Updates with comments, details)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed little changed on Wednesday as the violent revolt in
Libya helped bolster energy and gold shares but dragged on
overall market sentiment.
 Most global stock markets fell as investors moved away from
risky assets into safe havens such as gold and bonds as U.S.
crude oil prices hit a 28-month high of $100 a barrel in
reaction to the Libyan crisis, spurring inflation fears. [GOL/]
[O/R] Output in Libya, an OPEC producer, fell due to the
turmoil there. [MKTS/GLOB]
 Among Toronto-listed oil producers rising were Suncor
Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 2.26 percent at C$46.08, Encana Corp
(ECA.TO: Quote), up 3.47 percent to C$31.64, and Nexen Inc NXY.TO,
which advanced 3.81 percent to C$25.58. The index's energy
group climbed 1.34 percent.
 The materials group, home to mining firms, rose 1.1 percent
as gold miners gained on the back of bullion prices that jumped
1 percent.
 Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) firmed 1.7 percent to C$51.92.
Kinross Gold K.TO gained 2.28 percent to C$15.70, while
Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO: Quote) jumped 2.9 percent C$70.66.
 Gold prices rose to their highest level in more than seven
weeks as the soaring crude prices fueled worries that economic
recovery might stall.
 "The issues are certainly getting people to reevaluate the
risks that they have in their portfolios right now," said Bruce
Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.
 "And let's face it, the market has had a decent run, so
people might be using this as an opportunity to take some
profits and move into some cash and look for some bargains."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed 7.49 points, or 0.05 percent, lower at
13,956.19 after spending a bulk of the session in positive
 "Generally speaking, I think people just have to focus on
the longer term and what's driving the actual longer-term
opportunities for these companies," said Brian Pow, vice
president and research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital
Partners. "Ignore the short term."
 Eight of the index's 10 main groups were in the red. The
heavyweight financial group was a lead decliner, falling 1.12
 Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) fell 1.61 percent to C$58.50,
while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) declined 1.16 percent to
  Tim Hortons THI.TO rose 0.77 percent to C$41.77, after
it reported strong quarterly sales growth, particularly in the
U.S. market, and raised its dividend. [ID:nN22269270]
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)