* Five of the 10 main index sectors advance
* RBC rises 3 percent after reporting results
* HBC jumps nearly 22 percent on real estate deals
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as gains in Royal Bank of Canada and Hudson’s Bay Co offset a drop in the shares of energy producers as oil prices fell.
RBC shares rose 3 percent to C$77.28 after the company posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by significant gains in its personal and commercial banking and capital markets businesses. The strength in RBC helped lift the broader financial sector.
HBC said it will form two real estate joint ventures that will bring in about C$1.1 billion ($890 million) in cash. The stock shot up nearly 22 percent to C$26.99.
Investors also tuned into a fresh round of congressional testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. She said on Tuesday the Fed is preparing to consider interest rate hikes “on a meeting-by-meeting basis”.
“The comments don’t signal a broad shift in the Fed’s strategy,” said Shailesh Kshatriya, associate director for client investment strategies at Russell Investments Canada.
“I don’t think it really changes the scope of what the Fed will be doing. We still expect them to raise rates in the second half of this year,” he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 2.22 points, or 0.01 percent, at 15,167.19. It is up about 3.4 percent so far this month.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Among shares of energy producers, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gave back 1.4 percent to C$37.01 and Suncor Energy Inc slipped 1 percent to C$37.94.
$1=$1.24 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway