TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Friday as a decline in the energy sector, prompted by a fall in oil’s price, was offset by positive economic data from the United States.
Energy share prices extended their drop on concerns over increasing supply and weak demand, with the price of oil slumping to a two-year low this week.
Data showed that U.S. retail sales rose broadly in August, helping ease some concerns about consumer spending.
Investors also braced themselves for two potential market catalysts next week: the outcome of the Scottish referendum on independence and monetary policy commentary following a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.
“Investors are concerned about the actual timing of the rate hike in the United States. That will be a major factor on investor sentiment going forward,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The market is speculating that the Fed might provide more details about when it could be raising interest rates, he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 2.74 points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,531.58. The benchmark TSX, which has gained about 14 percent this year, ended the week lower.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Friday.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, added 0.4 percent, with Toronto Dominion Bank TD.TO advancing 0.3 percent to C$57.77 and Bank of Montreal BMO.TO rising 0.2 percent to C$84.58.
Shares of energy companies lost 0.4 percent, with Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO giving back 1.9 percent to C$10.64 and Enbridge Inc ENB.TO declining 1.4 percent to C$55.12.
Editing by James Dalgleish and Jonathan Oatis