TSX ends little changed on mixed earnings

Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:10pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended little changed on Thursday as gold miners and some other mining issues fell and oil and gas shares rose, while corporate results were mixed.

Stronger-than-expected earnings pushed papermaker Domtar Corp up 1.9 percent to C$87.89, and pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group up 1.34 percent to C$10.59.

But news and information provider Thomson Reuters fell 2.61 percent to C$38.11 after it reported adjusted earnings that missed estimates. It said it plans to sell two businesses to fund further investment.

Imperial Oil cut early losses after reporting a lower-than-expected profit, but still ended the session 0.72 percent lower at C$49.91.

Potash Corp dragged on the materials group, falling 2.75 percent to C$52.69, after it reported a higher quarterly profit but disappointed some investors who had expected more.

"We've got some minor variances from expectations that seem to be weighing on the markets a little bit today but there's no big news item that's really got people running one way or another," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 1.83 points at 13,894.40. Six of the index's 10 main groups advanced, with the heavily weighted energy group rising 0.42 percent. The materials group led on the downside, falling 0.76 percent.

Still, there were enough strong earnings in both Canada and the United States to offset new concerns about the U.S. economy. Data on Thursday showed U.S. economic growth braked sharply in the first quarter as higher food and gasoline prices dampened consumer spending, and pushed up a broad measure of inflation at the fastest pace in 2-1/2 years.   Continued...