* TSX down 0.78 of a point at 13,838.68
* Six of the 10 main groups lower (Adds details, comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was little changed in a choppy session Friday morning as a modest rebound in energy and financial issues offset weakness in other sectors, while news that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was stepping down lifted general market sentiment.
Oil companies were mixed with Suncor Energy (SU.TO) up 0.85 percent at C$41.48. Encana Corp (ECA.TO), which rallied more than 4 percent the previous session on news of a C$5.4 billion deal to sell a stake in a shale gas project to PetroChina, down 2.03 percent to C$31.37. [ID:nN1089226]
The overall energy group, which spent much of the morning in the red, was up 0.12 percent, moving contrary to oil prices, which fell on Egypt’s news. [O/R]
Mubarak’s departure came on Friday morning Toronto time, ending three decades of autocratic rule, as he bowing to growing pressure from the military and mass public protests demanding he resign. [ID:nLDE7192NZ]
“You’ll just have this continual flip-flop each and every day because commodity prices have just overheated, and with the worries in Egypt,” said Schwartz.
“You’ll get a day where oil will jump $2 and the next day all things are calm and it’ll drop again $2 ... The fundamental demand for oil is improving, the supply is quite full, so there’s no reason aside from geopolitical worries for oil.”
At 11:35 a.m. (1635 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 0.78 of a point at 13,838.68. Six of the 10 main groups were lower.
The financial group reversed direction from earlier losses, as general investor sentiment lifted, and was up 0.12 percent.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was ahead 0.42 percent at C$78.84, but insurer Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) was down, extending Thursday’s losses with a 0.89 percent slide to C$17.79.
“It’s ridiculous to punish it for being too conservative now, when you were punishing it two years ago for being too aggressive, so you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” said Barry Schwartz, vice-president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
“We’re positive on some of the dogs, so to speak, of the last year,” Schwartz added.
Manulife reported a doubling in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, and a rebound from a steep third-quarter loss, but the results still fell short of Street expectations. [ID:nN08136113]
($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)