(New throughout, updates prices and market activity to close, adds comments)
* TSX ends up 8.96 points, or 0.06 percent, at 14,533.57
* Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups gain
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, July 20 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose to an 11-month high, then retraced gains to end barely higher on Wednesday, with gains for railways and banks offset by sharp losses among gold miners.
Shares in Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd jumped 5.5 percent to C$196.26 after the company said it expects volumes to improve in the second half, especially in grains.
Its larger rival Canadian National Railway Co added 1.9 percent to C$83.13. The pair helped push the industrials group up 1.9 percent overall.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 8.96 points, or 0.06 percent, at 14,533.57. It touched its highest since Aug. 5 at 14,567.35.
“Stock markets around the world are at all time highs and no one is that excited about it,” said James Winckler, research associate at MacNicol and Associates Asset Management.
“To feel great about the Canadian stock market you need to see a meaningful turnaround in oil and commodities in general, and that’s going to hinge on a turnaround in global growth, which I don’t believe has occurred,” he said.
While eight of the index’s 10 main sectors rose and advancers outnumbered decliners by a 1.8-to-1 ratio, losses for gold miners weighed heavily as gold hit a three-week low.
Barrick Gold Corp slumped 7.4 percent to C$26.00 and Goldcorp Inc fell 5.5 percent to C$23.46.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, fell 3.8 percent.
The energy group rose 0.8 percent as oil turned higher after weekly U.S. inventory data revealed a slightly larger-than-anticipated drawdown, while rising supply weighed on gasoline prices.
Enbridge Inc fell 1.9 percent to C$53.55. The pipeline operator agreed to pay $177 million in penalties and improved safety measures in a settlement with the U.S. government tied to one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history.
Financials rose 0.7 percent, including a 1 percent gain for Royal Bank of Canada to C$80.72.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc rose 0.8 percent to C$45.99. The company plans to invest about $1 billion in Indian distressed assets through a joint venture with the largest lender in the South Asian nation. (Additional reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and David Gregorio)