August 15, 2014 / 11:44 AM / 3 years ago

TSX steady as Ukraine weighs, energy shares rally

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Friday as signs of an escalation of conflict in Ukraine weighed on sentiment, but a jump in the oil price helped drive up shares of energy producers.

Oil prices rallied on uncertainty surrounding the Ukraine crisis as Russia is a major producer of oil and natural gas.

Ukraine said its artillery destroyed part of a Russian armoured column that entered its territory overnight and said its forces came under shellfire from Russia.

Investors also digested news of a revised Canadian jobs report for July, which turned out to be better than initially thought.

The Toronto market has been volatile in the past two weeks because of the flaring of tensions in Ukraine, Iraq and Israel.

“The geopolitical events are definitely impacting market psyche,” said Shailesh Kshatriya, associate director for client investment strategies at Russell Investments Canada.

He does not expect much movement on the TSX between now and the end of the year.

“I‘m feeling more confident about the pace of the U.S. recovery in the second half of this year than with the Canadian recovery,” he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 13.06 points, or 0.09 percent, at 15,304.24. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, gave back 0.4 percent, with Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) losing 0.4 percent to C$56.65 and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) falling 0.4 percent to C$79.85.

Shares of energy producers climbed 1 percent. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) added 2.4 percent to C$42.95, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) advanced 1.7 percent to C$45.46.

In corporate news, Imperial Metals Corp III.TO, the company behind last week’s spill of mine waste in Western Canada, took steps to raise C$100 million ($92 million) in debt to cover cleanup costs and finish building its newest mine. The stock jumped 15.8 percent to C$10.11.

Editing by Chris Reese; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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