August 22, 2012 / 2:57 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Rise of gold miners keeps TSX near even

* TSX down 12.52 points, or 0.1 percent, at 12,104.40
    * Gold miners' strength keeps index near even
    * Energy and banking heavyweights push down

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dipped
slightly on Wednesday as banks and energy stocks weighed, but
resurgent gold miners helped the market hold its ground.
    The four biggest positive influencers on the index were all
gold producers, which have been among the worst performers so
far this year.
    "Golds are about to do what the technicians call a long-term
break out and reverse this downtrend they've been in for
months," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
    The price of bullion rose for a sixth day, driven higher by
hopes for further stimulus from major central banks. 
    Barrick Gold Corp gained 0.8 percent to C$36.76,
Goldcorp Inc rose 0.6 percent to C$39.12 and Yamana Gold
Inc and Eldorado Gold Corp each added more
than 1 percent.
    At 10:25 a.m. (1425 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was down 12.52 points, or 0.1
percent, at 12,104.40.
    Heavyweight banking and energy stocks kept the index in the
red, with Royal Bank of Canada down 0.6 percent at
C$53.72 and Suncor Energy 1 percent lower at C$31.87.
    Japan's exports slumped the most in six months in July as
shipments to Europe and China tumbled, adding to concerns over
global demand after a string of dire trade figures from Asia's
export engines. 
    In a sign of belt-tightening after rising commodity prices
excited the industry, top global miner BHP Billiton delayed its
planned $20 billion Olympic Dam copper expansion and said no
major projects would be approved before June 2013.
    "These mega-projects can bring mega-problems. There's a huge
capital risk," Ing said.
    Canadian retail sales dropped unexpectedly in June,
confirming a weaker trend in consumer spending that will likely
trim overall growth in the second quarter and raises questions
about the Bank of Canada's hawkish slant on monetary policy.
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