CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as Couche-Tard offsets dip in golds
* TSX up 9.49 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,714.22 * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance * Gold-mining shares slip with bullion prices * Couche-Tard jumps 5 percent after results * Bombardier climbs after CSeries gets flight test permit By John Tilak TORONTO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday as weakness in gold-mining shares, which fell with the price of bullion, was offset by a jump in Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc after the retailer reported strong quarterly results. Couche-Tard's profit more than doubled in its first quarter, helped by stronger merchandise sales at its convenience stores in Canada, the United States and Europe. The market got little direction from figures that showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in July and inflation was tame. In Canada, data indicated the economy shifted into lower gear in the second quarter and contracted in June for the first time in six months. The next move by Western powers in their confrontation with Syria also left investors guessing after the British Parliament voted against military action but France said it still backed action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government. "People are still trying to figure out if there's going to be military action in Syria," said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management. "We're also going into a seasonally rough-water period for the markets, and everyone is cautious about that," he added. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 9.49 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,714.22. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Consumer staples stocks showed the sharpest gain, climbing almost 1 percent. Couche-Tard shares rose 5 percent to C$60.19. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.5 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 1.1 percent to C$90.93, and Manulife Financial Corp was up 1.1 percent to C$17.35. Gold producers had a volatile session, slipping 1 percent. Barrick Gold Corp gave back 2 percent to C$20.27, and Goldcorp Inc lost 0.6 percent to C$31.33. In company news, Bombardier Inc said its CSeries aircraft received a flight test permit from Transport Canada, paving the way for a delayed maiden flight of the narrow-body jet. The stock climbed 1.3 percent to C$4.79.
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