TSX ends a touch higher after seesaw day

Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:56pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index finished little changed on Thursday after a seesaw session as mixed economic news offset the influence of strong earnings from UPS in the United States.

Upbeat results and a strong profit forecast from United Parcel Service (UPS.N: Quote) late on Wednesday helped boost overall sentiment as it was the latest in a string of major U.S. companies to report solid earnings.

The UPS results helped lift transportation shares, including Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO: Quote), which jumped 1.79 percent to C$63.53. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO: Quote) was up 0.65 percent at C$59.02.

But on the economic front, U.S. data pointed to a relatively slow economic recovery. Figures showed U.S. manufacturers ramped up production to rebuild inventories in April but that weekly labor numbers remained soft.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 7.11 points, or 0.06 percent, at 12,211.52. The index opened in negative territory but quickly turned higher, rising to a near 19-month high, then paring most of the gains.

"We've been all over the map on the TSX and looks like we're back to square one," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Weakening oil prices also cut into the overall index's gains, with the energy group falling 0.35 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) dropped 0.8 percent to C$34.81, while Husky Energy (HSE.TO: Quote) fell 2.32 percent to C$29.43.

(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)

 
<p>A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto in this November 9, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>