CANADA STOCKS-TSX shrugs off gold-miner drop, Fed, and ends steady

* TSX up 7.18 points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,980.15
    * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Energy shares fall with U.S. crude oil price

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
shrugged off the much-anticipated minutes of the latest U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting and closed little changed
Wednesday despite a sharp drop in gold mining shares. 
    Gold miners tumbled 5.6 percent as the price of bullion
dropped after a poll showed weaker support among Swiss voters
for a referendum that would force the central bank to boost its
gold reserves. 
    The Federal Reserve minutes showed members had a vigorous
debate at their Oct. 28-29 meeting on how they would respond to
recent financial market volatility, a weakening global economy,
and inflation expectations, but that they decided not to send
out unwarranted signals of pessimisn in their post-meeting
    "When the news came out from the Fed, there was no big
surprise. Everything seemed to be in line with the market's
understanding," said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager at M.Y.
Capital Management Corp in Vancouver.
    "I don't expect the market to go too much higher or too much
lower from here," he added. "But the Canadian market is starting
to catch up a little bit with the U.S. market." 
     The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 7.18 points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,980.15.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    The benchmark TSX index has recovered after a recent
selloff, gaining about 10 percent from an eight-month low hit in
October. U.S. stocks have hit record highs in recent weeks.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
advanced 0.4 percent on Wednesday, with Bank of Nova Scotia
 rising 0.7 percent to C$69.66 and Royal Bank of Canada
 climbing to C$82.90.
    Shares of energy producers fell 0.6 percent, reflecting
weakness in the price of U.S. crude oil. Suncor Energy
Inc slipped 1.2 percent to C$38.71.
    Gold miner Barrick Gold Corp shed 6.3 percent to
$14.09, and rival Goldcorp Inc lost 5.6 percent to
    ($1=$1.13 Canadian)

 (Editing by James Dalgleish; Editing by Peter Galloway)