September 29, 2009 / 2:50 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed as confidence data diverge

* TSX up 6.33 points, or 0.06 percent, at 11,345.05

* Materials group, up 0.7 percent, leads TSX higher

* Canada consumer confidence brighter than U.S. reading (Adds details, quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was slightly higher on Tuesday morning as Canadian consumer confidence data lifted financial shares, but gains were kept in check by a U.S. consumer confidence reading that sparked investor caution about global recovery.

Heavyweight gainers included mining stocks Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which climbed 1.5 percent to C$40.14, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which rose 1.2 percent to C$29.79. The broader materials group, home to miners and fertilizer companies, gained 0.7 percent.

Data on Tuesday showed consumer confidence in Canada improved for the seventh straight month in September, [ID:nN29135851] which brightened the market’s mood, said Gavin Graham, director of investments at BMO Asset Management

“If people are feeling better about their circumstances, presumably that’s because they’re feeling more comfortable about their jobs and they’re not going to be defaulting on their mortgages and their credit cards, which obviously is good news for financials,” he said.

However, a U.S. consumer confidence reading for September, released at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), fell short of analyst expectations and sparked some investor caution. [ID:nOSL011325]

At 10:17 a.m., the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 6.33 points, or 0.06 percent, at 11,345.05, with seven of its main groups higher.

Among financial shares, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was up 0.6 percent at C$69.32, while Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) gained 0.4 percent to C$33.14. The index’s financial sector rose 0.2 percent.

The modest rise adds to the 1.1 percent gain notched in the previous session, pushing the resource-heavy index up some 50 percent from five-year lows hit in March.

The mostly heavily weighted name on the downside was oil company Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), which sank 1.7 percent to C$72.23. The index’s energy sector was off 0.5 percent as oil prices sagged. [O/R]

$1=$1.09 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway

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