* TSX rises 0.08 percent to 13,851.87
* Canada jobs leap beyond expectations in January
* Five sectors rise, five fall (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was little changed on Friday morning as optimism about the Canadian economy spurred by robust jobs data was offset by falling oil and gas issues.
Figures showed Canadian employment growth was much stronger than expected in January but U.S. jobs figures for the same month showed sluggish growth and tempered the market’s strength. [ID:nN04126209] [ID:nN0366997]
At 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 10.52 points, or 0.08 percent, at 13,851.87. Five of the index’s 10 main groups were higher. Financials, often a play on the economy, were up 0.44 percent, while the index’s mining-heavy materials group also managed to eke out a gain despite soft gold prices.
“There’s no clear direction today,” said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
Energy issues were mixed after their recent runup, and the sector was off 0.35 percent even though the price of oil rose and focus remained on Egypt as protests there rolled into their 11th day. [O/R]
“The interesting point is that oil has been fairly positive all day and yet the stocks themselves have been weak. I think a lot of it could be profit-taking,” Sprung said.
Top decliners included Suncor Energy (SU.TO), down 1.1 percent at C$41.50, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), down 0.91 percent at C$47.84.
Research In Motion RIM.TO was was the index’s top heavyweight gainer, rising more than 2 percent to C$63.50 as National Bank Financial started coverage on the BlackBerry maker with an “outperform” rating.
Other advancers included First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), which added 4.6 percent to C$130.80 and was up for a fifth straight session. TD Newcrest boosted its share-price target on the copper producer on Friday.
($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng, Editing by Peter Galloway)