January 8, 2010 / 4:12 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed after jobs data, energy drags

* Soft Canadian, U.S. jobs data weighs on sentiment

* Energy stocks down as oil price weakens

* Consumer stocks make gains

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was little changed on Friday as weak Canadian and U.S. employment reports and a lower oil price weighed on sentiment, even as consumer stocks rebounded.

The index opened lower after both countries reported unexpectedly weak employment numbers, with Canada suffering the loss of 2,600 jobs in December. [ID:nN08233091]

“Overall, it’s a mixed market,” said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

At 10:44 a.m. (1544 GMT) The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 0.73 points, or 0.01 percent, at 11,888.92, after moving into negative territory several times.

Energy stocks weighed on the market, with Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), down 1 percent to C$38.44, and EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), off 1.47 percent to C$35.49, having the biggest drag of any two stocks on the index.

Oil fell towards $82 a barrel on Friday after snapping a 10-day winning streak the previous day and as an unexpected rise in U.S. job cuts outweighed a fall in the dollar. [O/R]

“It is a bit expected. We’ve seen lots of hype in the energy prices with the cold snap,” said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

Consumer stocks helped lead the index higher. Canada’s biggest pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart Ltd SC.TO gained 1.21 percent at C$44.99 while grocery giant Metro Inc MRUa.TO was also up a slight 0.05 percent at C$39.25. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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