CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed as gold gains offset energy losses

Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:57am EDT
 
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* TSX down 3.43 points at 11,992.91
    * Energy stocks off 0.6 percent
    * Materials group up 0.1 percent

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, April 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Friday, helped by gold mining stocks, but
gains were offset by weaker energy shares.
    Commodity prices have had a volatile week, with oil prices
holding steady above $99 a barrel after a steep six-day fall and
gold rebounding above $1,400 an ounce after a brutal sell-off
earlier this week.  
    Suncor Energy Inc led the decliners, with a 1.7
percent retreat to C$27.85. Enbridge Inc was off 0.7
percent at C$46.05. The overall energy group was off 0.6
percent.
    Barrick Gold Corp shares climbed 1.6 percent to
C$18.74 and was among the most influential gainer on the index. 
    Separately, a group of Canada's largest pension funds
publicly objected to Barrick's move to award an $11.9 million
signing bonus to its Co-Chairman John Thornton, saying the
payment was unprecedented in Canada. 
    The overall materials group, home to gold stocks was up 0.1
percent.
    "Investor sentiment isn't buoyant, but it isn't defeatist
either," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at
ScotiaMcLeod, adding that investors were bargain-hunting gold
shares after the selloff.
    "We're going to have to live with a gold price that
continues to flounder."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was trading down 3.43 points at 11,992.91 at
midmorning. Half the index's 10 main sectors were in negative
territory.
    Investor attention is turning to the Group of 20 meeting
where policy makers are debating monetary policies and debt
levels around the world. 
    The heavily weighted financial group was up 0.1 percent,
lifted in part by Royal Bank of Canada, which was up 0.2
percent at C$61.12 and National Bank of Canada, which
advanced 1 percent to C$73.08. Bank of Nova Scotia held
back the sector's gains, with a 0.4 percent retreat to C$56.54.