October 14, 2010 / 3:09 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-Base metals keep TSX steady at 2-year high

*TSX up 3.11 points at 12,676.42

*Five of 10 index sectors higher (Adds details, comments)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index held steady at a two-year high on Thursday morning, supported by base metals prices, which extended their rally on the back of a broadly weaker U.S. dollar.

The U.S. dollar weakness allowed the Canadian dollar to pierce parity with the greenback for the first time since April. [CAD/]

Base-metal miners were up 1.1 percent with Teck Resources TCKb.TO advancing 0.4 percent to C$46.15, and Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) jumping 2.3 percent to C$26.07.

Gold miners, however fell 0.05 percent, failing to track the price of the precious metal to record highs, and energy shares fell 0.3 percent as the price of crude oil turned negative on the expectation of higher U.S. inventory data. [GOL/] [O/R]

Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) slipped 0.2 percent to C$49.29, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) lost 0.9 percent to C$34.98.

“We’re being dominated by commodity price movements,” said Barry Schwartz, vice-president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. “And until someone rings the bells and says the U.S. dollar is oversold and it’s going to start getting stronger, this commodity story is going to continue for an extended period of time.”

At 10:35 a.m. (1435 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 3.11 points at 12,676.42. Five of its 10 sectors were higher, including heavyweight financials, up 0.3 percent.

“Bank stocks look pretty toppy here,” Schwartz said.

“It’s hard to imagine how much further they can go ... we know that dividend increases are going to be coming quite shortly from these banks and they’re also in good financial shape but their valuations based on this year’s earnings look expensive.”

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway

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