CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as energy shares gain, miners slip

* TSX up 4.33 points, or 0.03 percent, at 14,685.09
    * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * B2Gold drops after plan to buy Australia's Papillon

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Tuesday as a gain in shares of energy
producers was offset by weakness in the materials sector after
copper and gold prices slipped.
    The market appeared to be directionless, with investors
looking ahead to the release of the monthly U.S. jobs report on
Friday to see how growth in the world's biggest economy is
shaping up.
    "It's very quiet. Investors are not terribly aggressive,"
said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "The market
is drifting here."
    "But we do believe that the economy is continuing slowly but
surely to move ahead and the trend is still upward," he added. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 4.33 points, or 0.03 percent, at 14,685.09. 
    "We believe that the Canadian stock market will end the year
higher than where it is right now," said Michael, who expects
much of the growth to come from the natural resource sectors.
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
    Shares of energy producers advanced 0.3 percent. Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd climbed 0.7 percent to C$44.86,
and Suncor Energy Inc added 0.4 percent to C$42.19.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, lost 0.8
percent. The price of copper futures was down 0.9 percent, while
the bullion price edged lower.
    Diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd gave back 1.4
percent to C$24.17 and Barrick Gold Corp slipped 0.7
percent to C$17.22.
    In corporate news, B2Gold Corp said it would buy
Australia's Papillon Resources Ltd in an all-stock deal
worth $570 million to gain access to its Fekola gold deposit in
Mali. B2Gold shares dropped 5.7 percent to C$2.47.
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)