December 24, 2015 / 3:31 PM / in 2 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as drop in energy stocks offset by firm financials

(Adds details, updates prices)

* TSX up 2.35 points, or 0.02 percent, to 13,287.26

* Half of the TSX’s 10 main groups rise

* Index closes 1 p.m. (1800 GMT), reopens Tuesday

TORONTO, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed and struggled to hold onto gains on Thursday as a drop of more than 1 percent in energy shares weighed on the market in a shortened session ahead of the Christmas break.

Heavyweight oil and gas producer Suncor Energy Inc fell 1 percent to C$36.83 and Encana Corp lost 2.3 percent to C$6.91, as oil prices hovered near 11-year lows.

At 10:07 a.m. EST (1507 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 2.35 points, or 0.02 percent, to 13,287.26. It vacillated on either side of flat in the first half hour of trade.

The exchange will close at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) for an extended holiday break and will resume trading on Tuesday.

The most influential gainers included major banks Royal Bank of Canada, which rose 0.4 percent to C$75.28, and Bank of Nova Scotia, which advanced 0.4 percent to C$57.70.

Insurers also gained, with Sun Life Financial Inc up 0.8 percent to C$44.23 and Manulife Financial Corp adding 0.2 percent to C$21.33.

The overall financials group climbed 0.3 percent.

Half of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory, as were half of the total stocks listed.

Gold miners gained, as the price of bullion edged higher on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar. Goldcorp Inc gained 2 percent to C$16.72 and Barrick Gold Corp rose 1.1 percent to C$10.76.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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