CANADA STOCKS-TSX ekes out small gain in see-saw trade

Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:56pm EDT

* TSX closes up 5.02 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,220.45
    * Resource stocks gains as commodity prices rise
    * Banks are main drag ahead of Fed, German court ruling

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
inched higher on Tuesday as rising oil prices kept energy stocks
buoyant, while banks fell back ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve
decision and a key German court ruling on the legality of the
euro zone's bailout fund.
    Stocks moved in a narrow 70-point range ahead of the two-day
Fed meeting starting on Wednesday at which the central bank
could launch a third round of bond-buying.
    "Whether we're up 20 points or down 20 points is really
irrelevant. The next game in town is we're waiting for the Fed,"
said Levente Mady, a market strategist at Union Securities in
Vancouver.
    "I'd be leaning more to the negative side heading into the
Fed announcement," Mady said, adding that investors appeared to
have already priced in positive news.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 5.02 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,220.45.
    "This is still a market that is in trepidation mode," said
Andrew Pyle, a wealth advisor at ScotiaMcLeod. "It's a market
with no conviction either way."
    Higher commodity prices helped many of the Toronto index's
resource plays gain. Teck Resources Ltd jumped 5.3
percent to C$30.77 as copper hit a four-month high. 
    Overall, energy companies were the brightest spots on the
day, as crude oil prices rose in choppy trade. 
    The energy and materials sectors account for more than 40
percent of the index and are among its worst performing parts so
far this year.
    "These are two sectors that have lagged," Pyle said. "Much
of what we're seeing now is a catch-up."
    Financial stocks, which have gained this year, came under
pressure on Tuesday. Royal Bank of Canada slipped 1.1
percent to C$55.81 and Toronto Dominion Bank was down
0.8 percent at C$81.57.    
    The resource-rich S&P/TSX composite index was boosted to
four-month highs late last week after China said it planned a
major spending spree and the European Central Bank unveiled a
possibly unlimited bond-buying program.
    It pared some of those gains on Monday as investors awaited
the Fed meeting and the German court ruling on the ECB plan.
    Legal experts believe Germany's Constitutional Court will
approve the euro zone's bailout fund, while possibly imposing
tough conditions that would limit Berlin's flexibility on future
rescues.
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