May 12, 2009 / 3:22 PM / 10 years ago

REFILE-CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as financials offset golds

(Refiles to delete extraneous word from headline)

* TSX index flat at 10,095.62

* Early rally fizzles

* Golds glitter, financials weigh (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, May 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was unchanged on Tuesday morning as weakening financials offset firm commodities.

The TSX shot higher at the opening bell, rising nearly 1 percent in a broad-based rally, led by resource-related issues.

But the gains fizzled in some major sectors, including the heavyweight financials group, which tumbled 1.42 percent.

The markets leading banks and insurers were among the top 10 stocks moving the index lower.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was down 1 percent at C$C$43.71. Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) was off 0.8 percent at C$23.06 and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) was also down 0.8 percent at C$27.76.

At 11:05 a.m. (1445 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was ahead 1.48 points, or 0.01 percent, at 10,095.62. Six of the index’s 10 main sectors were higher, including the influential materials and energy groups.

“I think we had a quick start, helped by the continued gains for commodities markets overnight, with crude oil testing $60 a barrel, base and precious metals also pushed higher,” said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics.

“The banks are just consolidating recent sharp gains they made in the run-up to the (U.S.) stress test results. In addition, we’ve seen a slew of capital raising from these banks.”

Materials jumped 2.25 percent as the price of gold and base metals firmed. The energy group rose 0.21 percent as oil moved towards $59 a barrel at midmorning after hitting $60 earlier in the session.

Gold miners were the key movers to the up side. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose 2.7 percent to C$40.20, while Goldcorp (G.TO) gained 3.12 percent to C$38.65. Kinross Gold (K.TO), Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) were also among the top 10 movers.

Fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO led all index movers higher, up 3.7 percent at C$114.91.

In earnings news, George Weston Ltd (WN.TO) reported a higher first-quarter profit, as it booked a big gain from the sale of a U.S. bakery business, and said it was still deciding what to do with the proceeds from its divestitures. [ID:nN12289835]

George Weston stock rose 3.9 percent to C$66.

Rona RON.TO fell 4.2 percent to C$14.01 after the home-improvement chain reported a first-quarter loss on weak same store sales. [ID:nN12288076] (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)

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