August 6, 2014 / 11:34 AM / in 3 years

Ukraine fears keep TSX flat as Tim Hortons, miners gain

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index closed little changed on Wednesday as concerns that Russia might move troops into Ukraine were offset by gains in shares of Tim Hortons Inc THI.TO and gold producers.

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

NATO said Russia has massed about 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and could use the pretext of a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission to invade. Russia also announced another round of retaliatory sanctions against Europe and the United States.

Further dampening the market’s mood, figures showed Italy slipped back into recession for the third time since 2008 in the second quarter.

The Toronto stock market’s benchmark index, which eased to a three-week low earlier in the session, is down about 2 percent since hitting a record high last week.

“Investors are starting to ask the question ‘is this the beginning of the big correction?',” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management.

“You can’t worry about when the bulls and the bears change the chairs,” he said, noting that investors should look to clean up their portfolios during periods of high volatility.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 14.38 points, or 0.09 percent, at 15,202.09. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

The telecommunications sector dropped 0.7 percent, with BCE Inc BCE.TO falling 1 percent to C$48.88 and Telus Corp slipping 0.6 percent to C$37.95.

Gold miners jumped 1.6 percent, mirroring a similar gain in the price of bullion. Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) advanced 1.3 percent to C$30.75, and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) climbed 1.4 percent to C$20.05.

Shares of Tim Hortons jumped 7.4 percent to C$64.52 after the coffee and snacks chain posted a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit and said full-year earnings may top its forecast.

Canaccord Genuity Group Inc’s (CF.TO) stock shed 8.9 percent to C$11.36 after the company reported quarterly results late on Tuesday.

Editing by Peter Galloway

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