CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady after selloff, energy shares climb
* TSX falls 7.50 points, or 0.06 percent, to 13,470.70 * Five of the 10 main index sectors decline * WestJet climbs after quarterly report By John Tilak TORONTO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Tuesday after a major selloff the previous session as higher U.S. crude oil prices lifted shares of energy producers, while a drop in the bullion price weighed on gold miners. Sluggish economic data from the United States and China had darkened the market's mood on Monday, when the Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index fell more than 200 points and hit a one-month low. Global markets have been jittery of late with sentiment hit by concerns about some emerging-market currencies and economies and by the U.S. Federal Reserve's scaling back of its stimulus program. Volatility in the Argentine peso and the Turkish lira and signs of a slowdown in China have made investors wary of riskier assets. "It's been a risk-off trade in the last week or so because of the herd instinct," said Anil Tahiliani, portfolio manager, North American equities, at McLean & Partners Wealth Management. "The higher beta stocks have been getting hit the most, so we're using this as an opportunity to buy some of these high-quality companies that have been oversold." Tahiliani said that the Canadian energy sector in particular was starting to look attractive. The Toronto stock market's S&P/TSX composite index was down 7.50 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,470.70. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. Energy shares rose 0.6 percent, with U.S. crude oil < CLc1> gaining 0.9 percent. In the group, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 1 percent to C$36.51, and Encana Corp jumped 2.8 percent to C$20.15. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was hurt by declines in gold-mining shares. Barrick Gold Corp fell 1.2 percent to C$21.16, and Goldcorp Inc shed 1.2 percent to C$27.14. In corporate news, WestJet Airlines Ltd reported an 11 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit and raised its dividend. The stock was up 1.4 percent at C$25.20.
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