CANADA STOCKS-TSX makes slim gain as Dubai fears recede
* TSX ends up 0.2 percent at 11,464.41
* Financials get boost on lack of Dubai exposure
* Truncated session in U.S. adds to market volatility (Adds details, official closing numbers, analyst quotes)
By John McCrank
TORONTO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended up 0.2 percent in a see-saw session on Friday as gains in financial stocks overcame investor jitters over a possible debt default by a state-owned Dubai conglomerate.
Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO was the biggest heavyweight gainer of the session, up 1.5 percent at C$56.70. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was up 0.5 percent at C$66.19, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) rose 0.6 percent to C$48.18.
Financials rebounded from losses on Thursday when Dubai, a part of the United Arab Emirates federation, asked to delay payment on billions of dollars of debt issued by conglomerate Dubai World and its main property unit Nakheel. [ID:nGEE5AQ1IM]
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Friday that the Group of Seven countries have discussed the potential fallout on the global financial system from Dubai's delayed debt payments. He added that the Canadian banking regulator sees little or no impact on Canada. [ID:nN27429651]
Many banks outside the Gulf played down the concerns and European leaders said the world economy was now strong enough to cope with the setback.
"None of the Canadian banks have come out to say that they have any significant exposure to either Dubai World or to the United Arab Emirates and I think that's being taken as a comforting sign by investors," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The S&P/TSX .GSPTSE composite index dropped 1 percent at the opening bell and then reversed course, rising nearly 1 percent, before tilting lower again to settle up 27.61 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,464.41.
For the week, the TSX was down around 1 percent.
Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, said that strong gains on the TSX this year may have made investors more inclined to sell on signs of trouble.
"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I mean, if you had some profits, why take the chance if there's some bad news, you want to lock in those profits," he said.
U.S. markets were closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving Day and had a truncated session on Friday, creating illiquidity that added to the market volatility.
Investors will now be looking to results from "Black Friday", often the single busiest shopping day of the year in the United States, with many retailers offering big sales. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy. [ID:nN26200289]
If consumers are spending, markets may react positively next week, and vice-versa if not.
"It always comes down to the willingness of the U.S. consumer to spend," said Nakamoto. "Are they spending, or are they saving?"
The top six biggest decliners for the day were from the gold-mining group, with Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) down 0.8 percent at C$45.25, Yamana Gold (YRI.TO: Quote) down 1.7 percent at C$13.95, and Red Back Mining RBI.TO down 4.2 percent at C$15.03.
Gold, oil, base metals and agricultural futures tumbled as investors lightened exposure to assets perceived as risky in the wake of the news from Dubai. [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L] [SOF/L] [ID:nGEE5AQ135] ($1=$1.06 Canadian) (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson) ((email@example.com; +1 416 941 8083; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))
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