September 18, 2014 / 11:29 AM / 4 years ago

TSX steady as mining fall offset by TransCanada

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 ended little changed on Thursday as a drop in shares of gold miners amid weakness in the price of bullion was offset by a jump in TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO).

TransCanada climbed 3.3 percent to C$60.81 after Reuters cited sources as saying the company is emerging as a possible target, with several U.S. activist hedge funds reviewing the nearly $38 billion pipeline operator as a break-up candidate.

Investors digested the Federal Reserve’s renewed pledge on Wednesday to keep benchmark U.S. interest rates near zero for a “considerable time,” but also indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving on rates.

The market also awaited the outcome of Thursday’s Scottish referendum on independence, with polls showing that the results could be very close.

“The market is locked in on the fact that the Fed’s looking to remain with its accommodative policy stance until there’s concrete evidence that the labor market is on a path of sustainable growth,” said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 6.66 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,465.54. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, advanced 0.5 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) climbed 0.8 percent to C$83.11, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) added 0.7 percent to C$85.42.

The gold-mining sector shed 1.9 percent, with Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) losing 2.6 percent to C$26.63 and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) declining 2.1 percent to C$17.52.

In other corporate news, Penn West Petroleum Ltd PWT.TO said it was strengthening its accounting practices after a review uncovered irregularities that forced the company to restate some of its previous results. Shares of the oil producer jumped 7.8 percent to C$8.33.

Editing by Peter Galloway and James Dalgleish

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