CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as investors digest Fed, eye Scottish vote
* TSX down 14.61 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,444.27 * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance * Gold-mining shares drop 2 percent By John Tilak TORONTO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Thursday as a drop in gold-mining shares on weakness in the price of bullion offset gains in most other sectors, while investors continued to digest U.S. Federal Reserve comments on its policy outlook. The Fed renewed its pledge on Wednesday to keep interest rates near zero for a "considerable time," but also indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving on interest rates. The market also awaited the outcome of Thursday's Scottish referendum on independence, with polls showing that the results could be very close. "People are probably heartened by the Fed's stance as of yesterday," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "The fact is that the doves are still running the show at the Fed, for the moment, although there are certain indications that when rates go up, they'll probably go up a lot faster." "It's very murky out there. People are looking for some sort of stability to take us to the next level," he added. Michael said he expects the benchmark TSX index to recover after its recent losses as the global economy gains momentum. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 14.61 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,444.27. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, advanced 0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada climbed 0.5 percent to C$82.85, and Bank of Montreal added 0.8 percent to C$85.52. The gold-mining sector shed 2 percent, with Goldcorp Inc losing 2.5 percent to C$26.66 and Barrick Gold Corp declining 2 percent to C$17.53. In corporate news, Penn West Petroleum Ltd said it was strengthening its accounting practices after a review uncovered irregularities that forced the company to restate some of its previous results. Shares of the oil producer jumped 10.7 percent to C$8.56. ($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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