CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as energy strength offsets sluggish U.S. data
* TSX down 1.18 points, or 0.01 percent, at 14,890.95 * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline * Mining shares follow prices of gold, silver higher By John Tilak TORONTO, June 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Thursday as broad market weakness following sluggish U.S. economic data was offset by a gain in the energy sector after oil prices jumped. Increasing violence in Iraq heightened worries of a broader conflict, but those same concerns helped boost oil prices to a three-month high. U.S. retail sales growth missed expectations in May and first-time applications for unemployment benefits rose last week, data showed. "Economic statistics in the United States aren't exactly fantastic. They are mildly disappointing," said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management. But an environment of lower interest rates and increasing momentum for the natural resource groups will benefit Canadian equities, he added. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index is up more than 9 percent this year and has outperformed most other major global indexes. The index was down 1.18 points, or 0.01 percent, at 14,890.95. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave back 0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada lost 0.6 percent to C$74.45, and Toronto-Dominion Bank slipped 0.5 percent to C$54.36. Shares of energy producers climbed 1.4 percent, with Suncor Energy Inc jumping 2.1 percent to C$45.13 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd adding 2 percent to C$47.16. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, reflected higher prices for commodities such as gold and silver. Goldcorp Inc was up 1.8 percent to C$26.81, and Barrick Gold Corp advanced 1.5 percent to C$18.13. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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