August 13, 2010 / 9:21 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed after soft data; down on week

* TSX rises 4.65 points to 11,528.25

* Rising banks help lift index

* Ends week 2.3 percent lower

By Claire Sibonney and Pav Jordan

TORONTO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index edged higher on Friday as financial shares rose marginally, but energy and mining stocks fell with skittish investors still gauging the fate of the global economic recovery.

The higher close barely snapped a three-day slide, with fresh U.S. economic reports doing little to moderate fears that came back to fore this week that the recovery could stall.

“The market is very skittish, people are quite nervous, there’s a lot of volatility,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds, noting volumes were thin on a summer Friday.

“This has been a very difficult week ... continuing concerns about a double-dip recession and not a lot of conviction out there, and the lower the market goes the more people get negative. But our view is the market is oversold here.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 4.65 points, or 0.04 percent, at 11,528.25. The index was down 2.3 percent for the week.

The rise followed the market’s weakest close in three weeks on Thursday, when the index fell 0.51 percent.

The financial sector etched out a tenuous rise of 0.2 percent as Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) advanced 0.35 percent to C$71.07 per share. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) rose 0.99 percent to C$49.74 per share and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) rose 0.15 percent to C$68.67 per share.

Investors had mixed reactions to a report on U.S. retail sales, which rebounded in July but showed hints of lingering economic softness, as well as inflation data showing underlying price pressures stuck at their lowest level since the 1960s. [ID:nN13180040]

Consumer sentiment appeared to have stabilized in August but consumers saw little improvement in the economy ahead, while business inventories rose more than analysts had been expecting.

Adding to investor nerves, a top U.S. Federal Reserve official said the central bank is undertaking a “dangerous gamble” by keeping rates at near zero for so long, and it must start raising rates or risk damaging the nascent U.S. recovery. [ID:nN13260474]

The resource-loaded Toronto index was weighed down by the hefty materials sector, off 0.49 percent, and the energy sector, down 0.27 percent, as some commodity prices slid.

Among the heavyweight decliners was Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), the world’s largest gold company, which slid 0.62 percent to C$44.78 per share. Stock in Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) and Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO), both large Canadian gold producers, fell 1.55 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO), the country’s biggest independent oil explorer, fell 1.24 percent to C$33.47 as oil dropped for a fourth day. [O/R]

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion RIM.TO also weighed on the market. It fell another 1,51 percent on Friday to C$55.59 per share despite a move to provide India with technical solutions next week to help read its encrypted data that New Delhi sees as a security threat. [ID:nSGE67C07Q]

Stock in Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) rose 0.91 percent to C$50.90 after the company said it has not been forced to ration oil shipments on its North American pipeline system because of its Michigan oil spill. [ID:nN12132779]

Loblaw Cos (L.TO) added 1.02 percent to C$43.45 per share after announcing it will close its Halifax distribution center to reduce excess capacity in the Atlantic region. [ID:nSGE67B0NS] (Reporting by Claire Sibonney and Pav Jordan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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