CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as energy shares gain, miners slip
* TSX up 4.33 points, or 0.03 percent, at 14,685.09 * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance * B2Gold drops after plan to buy Australia's Papillon By John Tilak TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Tuesday as a gain in shares of energy producers was offset by weakness in the materials sector after copper and gold prices slipped. The market appeared to be directionless, with investors looking ahead to the release of the monthly U.S. jobs report on Friday to see how growth in the world's biggest economy is shaping up. "It's very quiet. Investors are not terribly aggressive," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "The market is drifting here." "But we do believe that the economy is continuing slowly but surely to move ahead and the trend is still upward," he added. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 4.33 points, or 0.03 percent, at 14,685.09. "We believe that the Canadian stock market will end the year higher than where it is right now," said Michael, who expects much of the growth to come from the natural resource sectors. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Tuesday. Shares of energy producers advanced 0.3 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 0.7 percent to C$44.86, and Suncor Energy Inc added 0.4 percent to C$42.19. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, lost 0.8 percent. The price of copper futures was down 0.9 percent, while the bullion price edged lower. Diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd gave back 1.4 percent to C$24.17 and Barrick Gold Corp slipped 0.7 percent to C$17.22. In corporate news, B2Gold Corp said it would buy Australia's Papillon Resources Ltd in an all-stock deal worth $570 million to gain access to its Fekola gold deposit in Mali. B2Gold shares dropped 5.7 percent to C$2.47. ($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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