*TSX down 9.87 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,589.36
*Six of index’s 10 main sectors lower (Adds details, quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was slightly lower on Friday morning as its hefty materials sector fell on softer bullion prices and shares of takeover target Potash Corp dropped.
Miner Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) dropped 0.5 percent to C$46.37, while competitor Goldcorp (G.TO) shed 0.9 percent to C$42.55 after the price of gold touched a 2-1/2 week low [GOL/]. The index’s materials sector was down 0.3 percent.
Potash POT.TO slumped 0.9 percent to C$145.38 after the government of Saskatchewan, where the company is based, said it opposed BHP Billiton’s $39 billion bid to buy the fertilizer supplier, setting the stage for a politically charged final decision by the federal government. [ID:nN2199148]
Energy issues climbed 0.3 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) up 0.6 percent at C$36.79, helped by higher oil prices on a weaker U.S. dollar ahead of a G20 finance ministers’ meeting on currencies. [FRX] [ID:nTOE69L00U]
At 10:19 a.m. (1419 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was 9.87 points, or 0.08 percent, lower at 12,589.36, with six of its 10 main sectors lower.
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]
“The economic statistics this morning were pretty good. Retail sales were better than expected. Inflation I think was about as good as a number you could hope for — not too hot, not too cold. Just right,” said David Baskin, portfolio manager and president of Baskin Financial Services.
“So today we’re seeing very mixed markets. There’s no conviction either way.”
Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO) (SJRb.TO) said on Friday its quarterly profit fell 1.6 percent, missing expectations and sending its shares sharply lower. Shaw, a top net decliner, tumbled 4 percent to C$22.51.
The company also announced what it called an “orderly transition” with Bradley Shaw replacing his older brother Jim as chief executive, effective Jan. 13. Their father, JR Shaw, remains executive chairman of the business. [ID:N21104780]
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), down 0.3 percent at C$56.15, said on Friday it will sell its U.S. Liberty Life Insurance unit to Bermuda-based Athene Holding for $628.1 million, which is less than Royal paid for the business a decade ago. [ID:nN22168472]
($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)