CANADA STOCKS-TSX barely higher despite oil price rise, Rona surge

Wed Feb 3, 2016 11:34am EST
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(Adds portfolio manager comment on Rona, updates prices)

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO Feb 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index struggled to break even on Wednesday as a bounce in crude oil prices offered only muted support to the resource-linked market, while shares in home retailer Rona Inc almost doubled after a generous takeover deal.

The energy group rebounded from a more than 1 percent fall to be up 1.5 percent as crude prices rallied.

But jitters about global economic growth persisted, weighing on financial and industrial stocks.

Also among major weights were drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, which lost 2.9 percent to C$124.66, and auto parts maker Magna International Inc, which fell 4 percent to C$45.62.

"The sentiment is so god-awful negative. It is impossible for investors to look past their nose," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

At 11:19 a.m. EST (1619 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 5.31 points, or 0.04 percent, to 12,447.57. It traded for most of the morning in negative territory after an initial gain.

Gold miners were among the most influential risers on the index, as bullion tested a three-month high.   Continued...