TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Friday as strong U.S. data and higher energy shares were offset by concerns about the European economy.
The euro zone economy recorded modest growth in the third quarter, with France beating market estimates and Germany closely avoiding a recession. The data showed that the region remained sluggish and could be in need of more stimulus measures.
In the United States, retailers reported stronger-than-expected sales in October, a positive sign for the world’s biggest economy.
The benchmark TSX looked on track to record its fifth straight weekly gain, suggesting the market has recovered from a selloff in October.
Energy shares received support from oil prices, which have been under pressure since June.
”It looks like the price of oil has bottomed, so we’re expecting a bit of a rebound there. Longer-term we’re still cautious on oil,“ said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management. ”For a one- to three-month trade, energy stocks look like they are a reasonable risk/return investment.
“The U.S. market will continue to lead Canadian stocks on the argument that the U.S. dollar will show strength and commodity prices will face challenges,” he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 3.50 points, or 0.02 percent, at 14,775.27. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Shares of energy producers advanced, with Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO rising 1.1 percent to C$6.39 and Encana Corp ECA.TO climbing 1.2 percent to C$19.96.
The gold-mining sector jumped 2.1 percent, boosted by a stronger bullion price. [GOL/] Goldcorp Inc G.TO added 2 percent to C$22.33, and Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO gained 2 percent to C$13.37.
Editing by Nick Zieminski