* TSX flat, ends 1.95 points higher at 12,601.18
* Eight of index’s 10 sectors higher, but financials drag
* G20 finance ministers meeting in South Korea main focus (Updates to close)
TORONTO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished just a touch higher on Friday as gains in most of its sectors were undermined as financial shares weakened ahead of a weekend meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers.
Uncertainty about the outcome of the G20 meetings in South Korea, where delegates will seek a common path on economic issues, prompted some investors to head to the sidelines.
The index traded in a 59-point range through the day and held near the unchanged mark for much of the afternoon.
“It’s really a quiet day. Everyone’s basically just standing pat and the thing is that we have the G20 this weekend,” said Paul Gardner, partner and portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE gained 1.95 points to finish at 12,601.18, not enough to extend its streak of advances to a sixth straight week.
Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were higher, but a 0.9 percent decline in financials was sufficient to limit the overall gain.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was the main laggard, dropping just shy of 1 percent to C$55.76, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) fell 1.36 percent to C$54.55.
Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO) was a top net decliner, tumbling 5.67 percent to C$22.12, after its quarterly profit fell 1.6 percent, missing expectations.
On the upside, gold-mining shares rebounded from the previous session’s selloff, with Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rising 1.37 percent to C$47.26, and Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) pushing up 1.48 percent to C$72.17.
On the economic front, data showed Canadian retail sales in August beat forecasts, while inflation data in September was largely in line with expectations. [ID:nN22252766] [ID:nN22157729]
($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)