May 7, 2008 / 3:03 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks little changed as oils weigh

(Updates to midmorning)

TORONTO, May 7 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was little changed on Wednesday morning, held back by profit-taking in energy shares as oil prices retreated from Tuesday’s record high.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was 11.49 points, or 0.08 percent, lower at 14,402.81 with four of its 10 main sectors on the upside.

The oil and gas group dipped 0.7 percent. Oil prices eased on Wednesday after U.S. inventory data showed crude supplies last week were above expectations.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was off 88 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, at C$91.12, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) slipped C$1.35, or 1.1 percent, to C$119.77.

Gold producers also slid, pressured by weaker bullion prices. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) was down C$1.66, or 2.6 percent, at C$62.92, while the gold miners’ subindex lost 1.1 percent.

Kinross Gold (K.TO) was down 64 Canadian cents, or 3.2 percent, at C$19.26 after the gold producer reported after the bell on Tuesday that profit rose but earnings per share slipped as the number of outstanding shares increased.

The larger materials sector inched down 0.03 percent, but it got support from Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO, which rose C$2.81, or 1.4 percent, to C$202.20. Also in the group, Agrium AGU.TO gained 79 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, to C$87.54.

On the earnings front, pipeline operator Enbridge (ENB.TO) rose 93 Canadian cents, or 2.2 percent, to C$42.75 after it said first-quarter profit rose, while it continued to develop key projects.

“Generally, the tone is fairly positive on the earnings front,” said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc.

“It’s more question of guidance - you’re listening to the earnings report and then getting a sense for whether management is guiding up, down or at expectations.”

HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO) shed 63 Canadian cents, or 3.1 percent, to C$19.50 after its quarterly profit tumbled as the zinc and copper producer was hit by a strong Canadian dollar, shipping delays, higher operating costs, and a weaker zinc price. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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