TSX flat as resources weigh, scores gain for the week

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index notched a weekly gain of more than 1 percent but ended nearly flat on Friday as falling metal prices and some profit-taking in other sectors largely offset gains in groups led by consumer companies.

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

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index eked out 0.31 points to finish at 15,173.03.

Six of the index’s 10 main groups gained ground.

The Stars Group, formerly known as gaming company Amaya, saw its shares jump 9.8 percent to C$23.4 after it raised its 2017 outlook and announced an additional debt prepayment.

Auto-parts maker, Magna International Inc was another influential gainer, rising 1.9 percent to C$63.23. The broader consumer discretionary group rallied 0.8 percent.

Consumer staples, which includes grocers, added 0.5 percent. Healthcare stocks advanced 0.6 percent, while telecoms rose 0.5 percent.

Balancing out the gains was a 0.4 percent slide in materials, which includes mining and other resources stocks, and a 0.5 percent retreat in oil and gas company shares.

The two groups combined make up roughly a third of the index’s weight.

“There’s some profit-taking in the short term, with a rotation toward consumer (stocks),” said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director, institutional equity research, CIBC World Markets. He said investors have shown a preference toward commodities with oil and copper prices rising recently.

Metal prices were in retreat, with gold falling on central bank prospects and copper prices, which had rallied to three-year highs, stumbled in its biggest weekly fall since March. [MET/L][GOL/]

Teck Resources fell 2.3 percent to C$25.69, while Franco Nevada Corp was down 1.1 percent to C$98.72. The two miners were among the more influential drags on the index.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 146 to 94, for a 1.55-to-1 ratio on the downside.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by David Gregorio