CANADA STOCKS-TSX shrugs off gold-miner drop, Fed, and ends steady
* TSX up 7.18 points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,980.15 * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance * Energy shares fall with U.S. crude oil price By John Tilak TORONTO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index shrugged off the much-anticipated minutes of the latest U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting and closed little changed Wednesday despite a sharp drop in gold mining shares. Gold miners tumbled 5.6 percent as the price of bullion dropped after a poll showed weaker support among Swiss voters for a referendum that would force the central bank to boost its gold reserves. The Federal Reserve minutes showed members had a vigorous debate at their Oct. 28-29 meeting on how they would respond to recent financial market volatility, a weakening global economy, and inflation expectations, but that they decided not to send out unwarranted signals of pessimisn in their post-meeting statement. "When the news came out from the Fed, there was no big surprise. Everything seemed to be in line with the market's understanding," said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager at M.Y. Capital Management Corp in Vancouver. "I don't expect the market to go too much higher or too much lower from here," he added. "But the Canadian market is starting to catch up a little bit with the U.S. market." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 7.18 points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,980.15. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. The benchmark TSX index has recovered after a recent selloff, gaining about 10 percent from an eight-month low hit in October. U.S. stocks have hit record highs in recent weeks. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, advanced 0.4 percent on Wednesday, with Bank of Nova Scotia rising 0.7 percent to C$69.66 and Royal Bank of Canada climbing to C$82.90. Shares of energy producers fell 0.6 percent, reflecting weakness in the price of U.S. crude oil. Suncor Energy Inc slipped 1.2 percent to C$38.71. Gold miner Barrick Gold Corp shed 6.3 percent to $14.09, and rival Goldcorp Inc lost 5.6 percent to C$22.73. ($1=$1.13 Canadian) (Editing by James Dalgleish; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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