February 26, 2010 / 9:52 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges lower but still ends February higher

* TSX dips 0.02 percent to 11,629.63

* Investors sort through mixed U.S. data (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished flat on Friday as key financial and resource shares put in a mixed performance, while U.S. economic data reinforced views of tepid growth this year.

The U.S. economy grew a touch faster than initially thought in the fourth quarter, soothing recent concerns about the robustness of the rebound.[ID:nN26169261] But data that showed the U.S. housing market has not yet fully stabilized and that consumer sentiment is weakening left the market feeling cautious. [ID:nN26167386] [ID:nN26171094]

Top decliners included Potash Corp POT.TO, down 1.7 percent at C$116.00, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), down 0.68 percent at C$56.81. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) fell 0.94 percent to C$70.88.

Heavyweight advancers included Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), up 0.6 percent at C$67.24, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), up 1.03 percent at C$56. Nexen NXY.TO gained 2.28 percent to C$23.75.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 1.81 points, or 0.02 percent, at 11,629.63. Half of the index’s 10 main sectors were lower, including the hefty financials group.

For the month, the index ended up 4.8 percent, a solid rebound from a dismal January, when it fell more than 5 percent.

“I’m surprised at the weakness today but I can’t complain — the market is up about 5 percent on the month,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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