* TSX down 4.45 points at 13,415.29
* Six of the index’s 10 main groups lower (Adds details, comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, May 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was little changed on Thursday afternoon after swinging widely from a steep early drop into positive territory, as battered energy issues recovered some ground along with oil prices.
The energy and materials groups — which together make up about 50 percent of the index’s weight — were down 0.3 percent and 0.51 percent respectively.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was off 1.73 percent at C$38.63, while Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) was down 1.39 percent at C$59.60. Uranium miner Cameco Corp (CCO.TO) slid 5.14 percent to C$25.30.
Fears of slower economic growth and lower demand sparked a fresh wave of selling in commodities in the early part of the session.
Oil prices rebounded in volatile trading as a weakening U.S. dollar offset demand worries. The weaker greenback — which fell against the euro on expectations of European rate hikes — also helped gold, silver and copper pare big losses. [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L] [COM/WRAP]
“It totally reflects the overall feeling of uncertainty in the market. It’s one of those times where investors are really not sure if the glass is half empty or half full. That’s why we’re seeing this sort of action,” said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities.
“We have broken through the support level at 13,500. And of course the downside action is a familiar one.”
At 3:09 p.m. (1909 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 4.45 points at 13,415.29.
It had fallen more than 1 percent on Thursday morning and then turned positive, before retreating again. Six of the index’s 10 sectors were lower.
“We’re getting to the stage where it’s overdone. The trade is all one way: everybody’s pessimistic, everybody’s negative, everyone’s throwing in the towel,” said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer of RKH Investments.
“I think we’re in the final throes of a short-term correction. I think the end is near, probably by the middle of next week, we’ll be heading back up again ... I think we’ve paid for it.”
Picardo noted that the factors plaguing market sentiment were nothing new and have been weighing on the market for a long time: concerns over China, euro zone debt and the economic recovery.
“When you have something like that, sentiment can really turn on a dime,” he said. “So investors have to be prepared for this sort of volatility.”
Corporate earnings on Thursday were mixed. BCE Inc (BCE.TO), which reported a 16 percent rise in operating profit, was up 2.82 percent at C$37.98, making it the lead blue-chip gainer. [ID:nN10106124] The overall telecoms group was ahead 0.91 percent.
Canadian Tire (CTC.TO) (CTCa.TO) rose 1.99 percent to C$62.53 after it reported a higher profit, helped by retail sales growth. [ID:nN12279700]
Tim Hortons THI.TO, which posted a higher profit but missed market estimates, sagged 4.91 percent to C$45.51. [ID:nN12290169]
($1=$0.97 Canadian) (Editing by Rob Wilson)