CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as resource shares gain, banks slip
* TSX up 12 points, or 0.08 percent, at 14,691.81 * Seven of 10 main index sectors decline * Sears Canada jumps after parent company looks to sell majority stake By John Tilak TORONTO, May 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as higher commodity prices boosted shares of energy and mining companies, offsetting declines in the financial sector. Investors also digested news that the European Central Bank was preparing a package of policy options for its June meeting, including cuts in all its interest rates and targeted measures aimed at boosting lending to small- and mid-sized firms. After having gained almost 8 percent this year, the Toronto market appeared to be searching for catalysts to propel it higher. "There's a lot of anxiety amongst traders on which way the direction of this market is about to go," said Michael Newton, director of wealth management and portfolio manager at ScotiaMcLeod. "Because the Canadian market is outperforming the S&P 500 this year, there's some renewed interest, particularly in the energy sector," he added. "However, I still advocate having a larger proportion of money invested in the United States and in Europe." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 12 points, or 0.08 percent, at 14,691.81. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. With the price of U.S. crude oil advancing 0.5 percent, shares of energy producers added 0.4 percent. Encana Corp climbed 0.9 percent to C$25.32 and Talisman Energy Inc rose 0.6 percent to C$11.70. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced 0.9 percent. Barrick Gold Corp was up 1.3 percent at C$19.07, and Potash Corp rose 1.2 percent to C$40.48. But financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave back 0.3 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia slipping 0.3 percent to C$66.77. In corporate news, shares of Sears Canada Inc jumped 4.4 percent, to C$16.45, after parent company Sears Holdings Corp said it was looking to sell its 51 percent stake in the Canadian retailer.
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