TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index ended little changed on Tuesday with stronger materials shares offset by weaker financial and healthcare issues as investors guardedly awaited the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.
The move lagged bigger gains on Wall Street as investors looked forward to a resolution of the drawn-out race for the White House. .N
Capping a long and bitter campaign, Americans began casting their votes to decide whether to give Democratic President Barack Obama a second term or replace him with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“For the TSX, where it would typically move in step with the U.S. market, there really isn’t any type of news flow really either way,” said Kevin Headland, director in the portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 8.42 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,361.20. Seven of the 10 sectors were weaker.
Whoever is elected will have to deal with the fiscal cliff that faces the U.S. government, said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. “I think either gentleman faces very difficult problems and needs to show leadership.”
On the upside, the index’s materials sector, which includes mining stocks, rose 1 percent. Gold producers were among the top gainers as bullion prices jumped 2 percent on speculation of an election win for Obama and higher hopes for Federal Reserve stimulus.
Among the heaviest decliners, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), the country’s largest bank, fell 0.4 percent to C$57.14 and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International VRX.TO lost 2.6 percent to C$53.61.
Pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp CCT.TO was down 3.3 percent at C$47.91. Shares of Catamaran’s U.S. competitor, Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O), tumbled about 12 percent after its CEO said Wall Street’s outlook for its 2013 results in may be too aggressive.
Additional reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama