April 8, 2008 / 4:55 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks little changed as financials drag

(Updates to afternoon)

TORONTO, April 8 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was little changed on Tuesday afternoon, as it struggled to gain traction amid weak financials and a bout of profit-taking after a six-day run up.

A handful of resource companies led the upside, including Teck Cominco TCKb.TO, which was up C$1.26, or 2.7 percent, at C$47.76, while Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO rose C$2.67, or 1.5 percent, to C$178.32.

But softness among gold miners held the overall materials sector back as the price of bullion fell. The sector edged up 0.2 percent, with No. 1 producer Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) off 76 Canadian cents, or 1.7 percent, at C$43.93.

The financial sector led the downside, giving up 0.6 percent, amid renewed worries about the credit crisis after U.S. savings and loan Washington Mutual (WM.N) said it had obtained a $7 billion capital injection but expected a hefty quarterly loss of $1.1 billion.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) was off 60 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, at C$68.30, while Royal Bank (RY.TO) slipped 43 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, to C$47.59

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 7.72 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,752.73 with half its 10 main groups higher. It had fallen more than 100 points shortly after the opening bell.

The index had pushed higher for the past six sessions, gaining nearly 4 percent.

The benchmark see-sawed between positive and negative territory early Tuesday afternoon as investors picked up individual stocks rather than entire sectors.

“If you have to be invested in the market ... then you have to try to choose something that is going to swim against the strong current and perform for you when it looks pretty obvious that we’re going into an economic slowdown,” said Andrew Martyn, portfolio manager at Davis-Rea.

Research In Motion RIM.TO, the maker of the BlackBerry, was among the strongest issues on the index, climbing C$2.02, or 1.7 percent, to C$122.00.

Harry Winston Diamond Corp HW.TO added 99 Canadian cents, or 3.8 percent, to C$27.29 following a jump in fourth-quarter profit, while it reassured investors that the demand for jewelry remained strong.

The energy sector inched up 0.6 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) adding C$1.30, or 1.8 percent, to C$74.98 and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) up C$1.16, or 1.1 percent, at C$105.67.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Rob Wilson

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