* TSX up 15.78 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,707.45
* Expected Yellen nomination for Fed chair provides some support
* Gold miners suffer as price of bullion falls
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was slightly higher on Wednesday, with broad gains notched by banking, energy and telecom stocks offsetting a decline in gold mining stocks as investors took some comfort from the pending nomination of a new Federal Reserve chief.
The optimism about the nomination of Janet Yellen to run the U.S. central bank - she is expected to tread carefully in winding down economic stimulus that has bolstered stocks - was subdued however by the ongoing shutdown of the U.S. government.
“There was a spurt of optimism that came from the Yellen announcement, largely because the market is searching for any sense of certainty in this environment,” said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.
“At the end of the day however, as positive as that news might have been interpreted by the markets, the focus is remaining on Washington and we’re seeing little progress toward addressing some of the issues that loom in the next several days.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 15.78 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,707.45 by mid-morning.
Three banks were in the top five of positive influences, with Bank of Nova Scotia adding 0.6 percent to C$59.19, Royal Bank of Canada up 0.5 percent at C$66.73, and Toronto-Dominion Bank gaining 0.4 percent to C$91.41.
But the single biggest positive impact was from Suncor Energy, which added 1 percent to C$36.17.
At the other end of the spectrum, major gold miner Goldcorp Inc fell 1.7 percent to C$25.04 and Barrick Gold Corp lost 1.6 percent to C$17.98.
The price of gold fell 1 percent as the Yellen news boosted the U.S. dollar.