* TSX slips 0.08 percent to 12,609.07
* Weak resources outweigh 7 advancing sectors
* Bernanke offers few new details on stimulus steps (Updates to close)
TORONTO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished slightly lower on Friday as modest gains across most sectors were not enough to offset the drag from investors cutting gold positions.
The index was volatile in early action as market players digested a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, which offered few new details on further economic stimulus. [ID:nN15187998]
But the volatility washed away in end-of-session trading with the index holding near the unchanged mark into the close as market players reset ahead of the onslaught of earnings expected in the next several weeks.
“We rarely have the market take off on a Friday and this is pretty typical,” said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Wealth Management in Waterloo, Ontario.
“We’re at the beginning of the earnings season and so the market needs to get some sort of a gauge as to whether equities are fairly valued, under- or overvalued here. There’s been a very strong market performance.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished down 10.62 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,609.07. Seven of the index’s 10 main sectors were higher, but the materials group, home to gold miners, lost 0.7 percent. Energy was also 0.2 percent lower.
Gold miners fell on a retreating bullion price while Potash Corp POT.TO dropped on a report that China’s Sinochem would not make a takeover bid for the company. [ID:nN22340110]
The gold subsector skidded 0.66 percent after the price of the precious metal snapped its two-day record-setting rally, as the U.S. dollar rebounded following Bernanke’s speech.
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), the world’s No. 1 producer, was down 1.14 percent at C$48.53, while Goldcorp fell 0.82 percent to C$44.99. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) shed 2.48 percent to C$11.42. [GOL/]
Potash Corp fell nearly 1 percent to C$146.78 after sources told Reuters that Sinochem had abandoned efforts to counter BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX) $39 billion bid. [ID:nLDE69E01U]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)