(Recasts with market reaction, analyst comment, details)
* TSX down 12.66 points, or 0.10 percent, to 13,138.27
* Five of the TSX’s 10 main groups down
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index was flat on Wednesday, paring earlier gains as investors failed to shake off concerns over slumping growth in China.
The TSX jumped more than 1 percent at the open to a high of 13,360.49, but failed to sustain the rally.
“We’re still trying to consolidate after the dramatic moves this week. The intraday swings left only the aggressive traders who are bottom pickers in this market,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
“Most investors are staying on the sidelines, just seeing how the dust settles,” he said.
At midday EDT (1600 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 12.66 points, or 0.10 percent, to 13,138.27.
Royal Bank of Canada, which reported a sharp spike in energy sector bad loans for the third quarter, was the biggest drag on the index, falling 2.3 percent to C$70.65.
Strength in personal and commercial banking helped the country’s biggest lender top profit expectations, but the bad loans demonstrated the impact the plunge in oil prices were having on Canadian banks.
The heavily weighted financials group was steady, up just 0.1 percent, as Canada’s other top banks made gains. Bank of Nova Scotia advanced 0.9 percent to C$57.44.
Goldcorp Inc was another top drag, sinking 2.8 percent to C$17.93, while Barrick Gold Corp tumbled 4.5 percent to C$8.97
The overall materials group, home to mining companies, sank 2.2 percent as gold prices tumbled on a stronger U.S. dollar. Gold futures fell 1.5 percent to $1,121.4 an ounce.
Energy stocks, which have had a dismal summer and touched the lowest level since December 2003 on Monday, were generally more positive on Wednesday. Cenovus Energy Inc rose 1.8 percent to C$16.79. (Reporting by Solarina Ho, editing by G Crosse)