TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index barely rose on Tuesday, with a gap between the winning fortunes of mining shares and the sharp falls of energy and industrial stocks as investors shied away from big bets ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve pronouncement.
Investors will turn their focus to domestic corporate results in coming days and weeks, with energy names coming in for the most detailed scrutiny.
Traders are also waiting for an update from the Fed on Wednesday for clues on the likely timing of an expected rate increase.
“All in all it’s a recipe for investors to stay on the sidelines until there’s more clarity on where we go from here,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 1.99 points, or 0.01 percent, at 15,346.07.
Bullion gained 1 percent, helping major producers push the index higher. Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO rose 3 percent to C$15.99, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO added 2.8 percent to C$23.85.
“Gold stocks are rallying because they’ve been down in the dumps for the longest time,” Picardo said.
The decliners included Enbridge Inc ENB.TO, which fell 1.7 percent to C$64.76, and Transcanada Corp TRP.TO, which fell 1.8 percent to C$57.04.
The overall energy group retreated 0.8 percent. Crude prices were under pressure from record U.S. stockpiles. [O/R]
Railway stocks were also among the decliners, with Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TO off 0.8 percent at C$78.64 and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd CP.TO down 0.8 percent at C$234.55.
A run of lukewarm U.S. economic data during the first quarter has pushed the likelihood of a Fed interest rate increase to the second half of 2015.
“(The market‘s) just trying to figure a timing on when we might see an uptick in interest rates,” said Brian Pow, vice president of research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary.
Pow noted that crude prices holding near 2015 highs was positive and that the market could see some recovery if prices stay at current levels.
Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Ted Botha and Steve Orlofsky