TSX ekes out gain in low volume trade ahead of U.S. holiday

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index ended barely higher in subdued trade on Friday as small gains for some big banks and a boost for gold miners from higher bullion prices were offset by declines in pipeline companies and railway stocks.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

“Coming into month-end people tend to not do much and they do even less in front of a long weekend,” said Rick Hutcheon, chief operating officer at RKH Investments, referring to U.S. markets being closed on Monday for Memorial Day.

“We’re through earnings season, OPEC has done its thing, Trump hasn’t done anything silly this week, the economy is not doing anything,” he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 6.20 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,416.93. It lost 0.3 percent in a holiday-shortened week.

Decliners slightly outnumbered advancers, with overall trade volume at its lowest in months.

Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO gained 3.2 percent to C$2.25 after the planemaker said it had delivered its first CS300 aircraft to customer Swiss International Air Lines AG.

Gold miners were among the strongest gainers, as political uncertainty led investors to shun riskier assets in favor of the precious metal, pushing it to its highest in nearly four weeks. [O/R]

Agnico Eagle Mining AEM.TO gained 1.7 percent to C$66.13 and Goldcorp G.TO was up 1.2 percent at C$18.47.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.5 percent.

Pipeline companies ranked among the heaviest weights, with Enbridge Inc ENB.TO off 0.9 percent at C$52.48 and TransCanada Corp TRP.TO down 0.8 percent at C$63.28.

Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TO fell 0.7 percent to C$103.70 and rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd CP.TO lost 0.5 percent to C$213.74.

Several of the country's biggest banks gained following their earnings reports earlier in the week, with Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO up 0.4 percent at C$64.25.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Dan Grebler and Bill Trott