TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Tuesday, with a rally in the gold-mining sector offset by weakness in energy shares, as investors digested economic data from China and a global growth forecast from the International Monetary Fund.
The Chinese economy grew at its slowest pace in 24 years in 2014, but fourth-quarter growth held steady at 7.3 percent, slightly stronger than had been expected.
Investors also digested a report in which the International Monetary Fund lowered its global growth projections and said central banks should favor accommodative monetary policies.
The market is expecting the European Central Bank to announce stimulative measures on Thursday.
The benchmark TSX has shed 2.2 percent this year, with a selloff in oil prices and energy shares holding back the index.
“We continue to see volatility (in oil prices). We expect violent moves both ways,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of Richardson GMP Ltd, which manages about C$28.3 billion in assets.
“We’re looking at the sectors with the most value, and the resource sectors look very attractive relative to the rest of the market,” he said, adding investors should rebalance their portfolios as the market remains choppy.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 4.06 points, or 0.03 percent, at 14,308.44. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Shares of energy producers declined 2.4 percent. Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO lost 1.7 percent to C$34.93, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO was down 0.7 percent at C$34.18.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, gave back 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO shed 0.5 percent to C$75.41.
Shares of gold miners jumped with the bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO advanced 6.8 percent to C$15.18, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO climbed 2.5 percent to C$29.38.
Editing by Peter Galloway; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli