CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as financials slip, offsetting gold miner gains

(Adds details on stocks and sectors throughout and updates prices)

* TSX falls 29.41 points, or 0.19 percent, to 15,667.77

* Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups decline

TORONTO, April 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday as the financials group lost ground, while gold mining shares climbed after escalating geopolitical tensions boosted gold prices.

A disappointing U.S. jobs report added to investors’ nervousness following a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base.

Financial shares fell 0.5 percent as Canada’s 10-year yield hit a four-month low at 1.505 percent.

Higher bond yields would reduce the value of insurance companies’ liabilities and increase net interest margins of banks.

Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.6 percent to C$97.23, while Manulife Financial Corp lost 0.9 percent to C$23.18.

Bank of Montreal, Canada’s fourth-biggest lender, said its Chief Operating Officer Darryl White will step up to be chief executive in November, succeeding Bill Downe who will retire.

BMO’s shares dipped 0.2 percent to C$99.76.

At 10:57 a.m. ET (1457 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 29.41 points, or 0.19 percent, to 15,667.77.

Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were lower, with energy down 0.2 percent even as oil prices rose on concerns that the conflict in Syria could spread in the oil-rich region.

U.S. crude prices were up 1.0 percent to $52.2 a barrel.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.8 percent.

Barrick Gold Corp rose 1.0 percent to C$26.12, while gold futures climbed 1.2 percent to $1,265.7 an ounce.

Barrick’s near billion-dollar deal with Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd represents a rich premium for the Canadian miner, while making good on a long-promised plan to forge deep, long-lasting partnerships with China.

Canadian employers added a greater-than-expected 19,400 jobs in March, Statistics Canada said in a report that suggested Canada’s economy has finally turned the corner. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Bernadette Baum)