March 21, 2012 / 12:17 PM / 5 years ago

TSX ticks up on industrials after 2 days of losses

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 19, 2012.Brendan McDermid

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index eked out a tiny gain on Wednesday after two days of losses, lifted by firmness in industrial issues, but the mood largely followed a broader global trend of muted equities trading.

Top movers included Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), up 1.8 percent at C$78.88, and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO), up 2.1 percent at C$78.53, helping push up the broader industrials sector by 1.1 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained half a percent to C$83.60, while the overall financial sector gained 0.03 percent.

Bombardier (BBDb.TO), which is in the industrials group, shot up 3.2 percent to C$4.18 after it signed a pact with China's Comac to seek opportunities to cooperate on aspects of Bombardier's new CSeries and Comac's C919 aircraft.

"This will help the planemaker to save some costs," said Marcus Xu, director of equity investments at Genus Capital Management in Vancouver. Bombardier was one of the most heavily traded stocks on the market.

Xu said another area of potential support came from U.S. data. Sales of existing U.S. homes slipped 0.9 percent to an annual rate of 4.59 million units, the National Association of Realtors said. But January's sales pace was revised up to 4.63 million units from a previously reported 4.57 million units.

"It was tiny bit lighter than expectations, but it's pretty good," said Xu. "To me, the absolute level looking at a trend matters more than the expectations."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up 5.79 points, or 0.05 percent, to 12,436.49, snapping two days of losses. Seven of its 10 main sectors were higher.

U.S. stocks struggled on Wednesday to rise above recent highs, hampered by losses in risk-associated sectors like energy and financials. .N

Losses were concentrated in heavily-weighted materials, down 0.4 percent, and energy sectors, down 0.1 percent.

Enbridge (ENB.TO) sank 1.1 percent to C$37.22 after the company said it would increase its preferred share offering to C$350 million.

"A large shareholder sold their position, and it was done at a very small discount, so that's the reason the stock is down," said Marc-Andre Robitaille, president and portfolio manager at Robitaille Asset Management.

Additional reporting by Jon Cook; Editing by Padraic Cassidy

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