CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as energy share gains offset by miners
* TSX down 13.18 points, or 0.09 percent, at 14,689.11 * Six of the 10 main index sectors decline * Canadian Natural climbs 0.6 percent By John Tilak TORONTO, May 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday with higher oil prices helping to push up shares of energy producers, while the mining-heavy materials sector declined. Worries about instability in Ukraine boosted the price of oil as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wanted better ties with the West but fiercely criticized U.S. policy in the region. Investors also digested data that showed Canada's annual inflation rate rose to the central bank's 2 percent target in April for the first time in two years. The Toronto stock market's benchmark index is up about 8 percent this year, benefiting from a rebound in its natural resource sectors, but some investors wonder if the rise may be set to be interrupted. "The market has done pretty well year-to-date, and I think we may be seeing a pause here, possibly even a correction sometime," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management. Canadian stock prices have outpaced fundamentals, he added. "Canada is running substantially ahead, yet the U.S. economy is beginning to look like it's on a more solid footing." Sprung said that the energy sector, which has recorded strong gains this year, still offers good value. His holdings include Suncor Energy Inc and Encana Corp. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 13.18 points, or 0.09 percent, at 14,689.11 on Friday. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. Shares of energy producers added 0.2 percent. Among them, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 0.6 percent to C$44.62, and Suncor Energy Inc rose 0.1 percent to C$42.50. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, edged higher. In the group, Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 0.3 percent at C$53.40. The materials sector slipped 0.6 percent. Goldcorp Inc shed 1.6 percent to C$26.46, and Potash Corp gave back 0.8 percent to C$39.24. ($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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