CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as materials mixed

Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:54am EST
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* TSX dips 0.04 percent to 13,443.45

* Base metal miners higher, golds slide (Adds details)

TORONTO Dec 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was slightly lower on Thursday morning as materials issues were mixed and strong U.S. economic data failed to buoy the market.

The materials group was marginally higher with base metal and fertilizer producers lifted by stronger commodity prices, but held in check by weakness among gold miners.

Teck Resources TCKb.TO advanced 1.6 percent to C$60.88, while Agrium (AGU.TO: Quote) rose 1.2 percent to C$91.31

The materials group has been one of the most influential TSX sectors for the last several sessions, rising more than 2.7 percent as copper has surged to a record high, while other base metals have reached multi-week highs.

Prices of precious metals also climbed on Thursday, including gold, but Toronto's gold mining stocks failed to benefit, limiting the materials group's gain to 0.1 percent.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) was off 0.4 percent at C$52.90 and Kinross Gold (K.TO: Quote) down 0.7 percent at C$18.84.

At 10:25 a.m. (1525 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 5.72 points, or 0.04 percent, at 13,443.45. Eight of the 10 main groups were lower.   Continued...