November 25, 2008 / 10:31 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ekes out tiny gain, aided by Fed plan

*Technology shares slump 3 pct; RIM falls 8 pct

*Financials rise on U.S. Fed plan to aid consumer lending

*TD Bank drops 4.7 pct after equity offering

*Several miners suspend operations, materials lower (Adds closing figures, quotes, details)

TORONTO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - After two days of big rises, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index eked out a slim gain on Tuesday as firmness in financial shares due to a U.S. Federal Reserve plan to aid consumer lending offset weakness in technology and materials issues.

In choppy activity, the index traded in a range of nearly 300 points from top to bottom. For most of the day it was in negative territory.

“It’s been a bit of a bun toss here today after both Toronto and New York being so strong the last two days,” said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities. “There’s one camp that seems to feel the rally will continue and one camp that seems to think there is some profit-taking today.”

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 1.99 points, or 0.02 percent, at 8,442.86, with six of its 10 main groups higher. On Friday, the index rose 5.6 percent and on Monday it was up 3.5 percent.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was down 4.7 percent at C$40.89 after it said late Monday it sold common shares worth C$1.2 billion to reassure investors about its capital strength. [ID:nN24527304].

The overall financial group, however, rose 0.5 percent, helped by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement of a $600 billion program to buy mortgage-related debt and a $200 billion facility to support consumer finance. [ID:nN25276977]

Research In Motion RIM.TO sank 8 percent to C$50.77 after a research firm said it expects cellphone sales to fall next year as the economic slowdown hits demand. ID:[nN25285430] The broader information technology sector was down 2.9 percent.

Materials slipped 1.4 percent on lower metals prices. [ID:nLP637616] As well, several miners announced plans to scrap deals or suspend operations, including BHP Billiton (BHP.AX), which abandoned its hostile takeover bid for Rio Tinto (RIO.AX). [ID:nLP735505]

In Canada, Sherritt International (S.TO) fell 7.8 percent to C$1.77 after it said it is revising the construction plan for its Ambatovy nickel project in Madagascar to cut costs. [ID:nN25270342].

Energy issues rose 1 percent even though oil prices settled down $3.73 at $50.77 a barrfel on demand concerns [ID:nSP128607]. EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) rose 1.9 percent to C$51.98. ($1=$1.23 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)

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