CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as energy shares gain, miners dip

* TSX up 5.81 points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,708.10
    * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Canadian Natural climbs 0.7 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Friday as shares of energy producers got a
boost from higher oil prices, offsetting a decline in the
mining-heavy materials sector.
    Worries about instability in Ukraine helped lift oil prices
after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wanted better
ties with the West but fiercely criticized U.S. policy in the
    Investors also digested data that showed Canada's annual
inflation rate rose to the central bank's 2 percent target in
April for the first time in two years. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index is up about 8
percent this year, benefiting from a rebound in its natural
resource sectors.
    "Energy shares have benefited from higher oil prices and the
falling Canadian dollar," said Philip Petursson, managing
director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset
Management. "We're still in the early innings of the potential
(for the energy sector)."
    Petursson said that investor appetite for Canadian equities
is increasing. "We'll see a modest reacceleration of earnings in
the second quarter, and that will help drive the market higher."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 5.81 points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,708.10.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers added 0.1 percent. Among them,
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 0.7 percent to
C$44.69, and Inter Pipeline Ltd rose 1.4 percent to
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped
0.3 percent. Goldcorp Inc shed 1 percent to C$26.62, and
Potash Corp gave back 0.1 percent to C$39.50.
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian) 

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)