CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady after ECB comments, SNC decline

Thu Nov 6, 2014 4:40pm EST
 
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* TSX up 15.12 points, or 0.1 percent, at 14,563.38
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors advance
    * SNC tumbles 8.1 percent on outlook, job cuts
    * Canadian Natural jumps nearly 4 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday as comments from the European Central
Bank helped offset weakness in shares of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc
 after the engineering and construction company cut its
profit outlook.
    SNC trimmed its full-year earnings forecast and said it was
cutting its workforce by 9 percent. Its shares dropped 8.1
percent. 
    Investors were encouraged as the European Central Bank
indicated a willingness to unveil more stimulus measures if
needed. 
    The benchmark TSX, which has swung both ways in the past few
weeks, is down about 7 percent since hitting a record high in
September.
    Energy shares have tumbled with commodity prices in recent
months, but they managed to shrug off a lower oil price on
Thursday. 
    "We're seeing a lot more dispersion in the marketplace,"
said Ben Jang, a portfolio manager who helps oversee about C$2.5
billion in assets at Nicola Wealth Management.
    "The supply-demand imbalance will continue to place pressure
on oil prices," he added. "There's going to be a lot more
volatility in oil prices. There's low visibility overall."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 15.12 points, or 0.1 percent, at 14,563.38.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The energy sector climbed nearly 1 percent. Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd rose 3.9 percent to C$39.74 after the oil
producer said it plans to boost capital spending 11 percent next
year. 
    The gold-mining sector rebounded, rising 4.5 percent after a
decline in the previous session. Barrick Gold Corp 
advanced 3.8 percent to C$12.97, and Goldcorp Inc jumped
4.4 percent to C$21.21.

 (Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Lisa Shumaker)