CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as commodities gain with Ukraine tensions

Mon Mar 3, 2014 5:07pm EST
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* TSX up 3.15 points, or 0.02 percent, at 14,212.74
    * Six of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Osisko jumps after miner agrees to settle lawsuit with
    * Magna gains after quarterly report

    By John Tilak and Leah Schnurr
    TORONTO, March 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed in choppy trade on Monday as worries about
increasing instability in Ukraine were overcome by shares of
natural resource producers benefiting from stronger commodity
    Ukraine said Russia's military presence in Crimea was
growing, and U.S. President Barack Obama called Russia's actions
a violation of international law and of Ukraine's sovereignty.
    Volatility jumped as the geopolitical tensions took center
stage. The S&P/TSX VIX index, considered the market's
fear gauge, shot up nearly 13 percent.
    While global equity markets were hit by those concerns, the
resource-sensitive Canadian index was insulated a little as
investors found safe havens in commodities such as gold and oil.
    Investors did not appear to be bracing for a worst-case
scenario, at least not yet.
    "Overall investors are disconcerted, but there is very
little panic," said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global
Securities in Vancouver.  "As bad as the Ukraine situation is,
it is still being seen as something that is isolated to a part
of Europe."
    "If there's an outright war, and the situation really
deteriorates, then suddenly you have concerns about global
growth," he added. "That would really not be a good thing for
the TSX."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 3.15 points, or 0.02 percent, at 14,212.74.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    The price of U.S. crude oil shot up 2.1 percent on
supply worries, given Russia is a major oil producer. Shares of
energy producers gained, with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
 adding 0.8 percent to C$40.83. 
    Gold-mining shares advanced 1.7 percent, reflecting a 2.2
percent jump in the bullion.
    In corporate news, Osisko Mining said it agreed to
settle its lawsuit against Goldcorp and would allow Goldcorp to
conduct due diligence in connection with its hostile takeover
bid for Osisko. 
    Goldcorp Inc was up 1.9 percent at C$30.32. Osisko
climbed 6.4 percent to C$7.50 and was the biggest percentage
gainer on the index. 
    Magna International rose 5.3 percent to C$103.75
after the auto parts supplier reported a higher quarterly profit
and raised its dividend.