* TSX up 1.97 points, or 0.01 percent, to 15,411.75
* Six of the TSX’s 10 main groups were down
TORONTO, June 6 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index held steady on Tuesday as investors, wary over political uncertainties from the United States to the Middle East, shied way from riskier assets, and gold mining companies, bolstered by a surge in bullion prices, offset declines.
At 10:34 a.m. ET (1434 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 1.97 points, or 0.01 percent, at 15,411.75.
Of the index’s 10 main groups, four were in positive territory.
The materials group, which includes precious metal miners, jumped 2.1 percent. Gold companies dominated the top of the index on the positive side, with Barrick Gold climbing 3.9 percent to C$22.64, and Kinross Gold rallying 5.1 percent to C$6.01.
Gold touched its highest level in seven weeks after the U.S. dollar fell to a seven-month low. The currency came under pressure after weak U.S. economic data trimmed expectations of a rapid rise in U.S. interest rates. Gold futures rose 1.1 percent to $1,292.80 an ounce.
Iamgold Corp soared 8.7 percent to C$6.60 after Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co said it agreed to take an interest in a gold mining project from the company for $195 million.
Advances were capped by a 0.4 percent retreat in financial services companies. The group includes Canada’s biggest banks and insurers and accounts for about a third of the index’s weight. Manulife Financial Corp declined 1.3 percent to C$23.20, while Royal Bank of Canada dipped 0.5 percent to C$93.02.
The energy group remained unchanged.
Investor sentiment was cautious ahead of a busy Thursday, with Britain heading to voting booths and former FBI director James Comey testifying before Congress. The European Central Bank is also meeting on Thursday. Wariness over the impact of an Arab rift over Qatar added to the uncertainty, particularly in the oil market.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 123 to 120, for a 1.03-to-1 ratio on the downside.
Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Andrea Ricci
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