February 10, 2014 / 9:59 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as anxiety about Fed lifts gold miners

* TSX rises 7.68 points, or 0.06 percent, to 13,794.18
    * Eight of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Gold-mining shares jump 3.3 percent
    * Cameco drops 3.1 percent after quarterly report

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Monday as uncertainty about U.S. monetary
policy helped lift the price of bullion and shares of gold
producers, offsetting weakness in energy shares.
    Buoyed by a 1 percent gain in the bullion price, shares of
gold miners rose 3.3 percent.
    Investors digested Friday's sluggish U.S. jobs report and
were nervous ahead of testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen at congressional committees this week. The market
has been anxious for clues about the Fed's monetary policy
direction since Yellen took over from Ben Bernanke last week.
    Despite sharp selloffs in recent weeks due to concerns about
weak growth in emerging markets, the Toronto market is up about
1.3 percent this year and has outperformed U.S. stocks. 
    Those gains have been fueled primarily by a higher price for
bullion, which thrives on economic weakness and market
uncertainty as investors perceive the commodity as being a safe
    Gold-mining shares are up more than any other sector this
year and form a sizable part of the index's weight.
    "This uncertainty has driven, and restored, gold as a
classic story of value," said John Ing, president of Maison
Placements Canada. "Not only do I believe the worst is over, I
fully expect 2014 to be an up year for gold."
    Ing sees strength in the sector boosting the broader
Canadian benchmark this year.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 7.68 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,794.18,
after rising as high as 13,839.48, its strongest level in more
than two weeks. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were
in the red.
    Barrick Gold Corp climbed 2.3 percent to C$21.35,
and Goldcorp Inc advanced 2 percent to C$28.81.
    But financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
edged lower, with Royal Bank of Canada losing 0.2
percent to C$69.98.
    With the price of Brent crude oil dropping, several
energy stocks declined. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd 
was down 1.2 percent at C$37.39.
    In corporate news, shares of Cameco Corp shed 3.1
percent to C$22.71 after the uranium miner reported
weaker-than-expected quarterly results on Friday. The stock was
one of the most heavily weighted decliners on the market.
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