CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as Goldcorp offsets softer energy stocks

Tue Jan 8, 2013 6:38pm EST

* TSX up 5.26 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,504.81
    * Six of the index's 10 main groups higher
    * Goldcorp up 3.23 pct
    * Energy stocks down 0.4 pct

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
finished little changed on Tuesday, with weakness in the energy
sector offset by Goldcorp Inc stock, following an update
on the company's production outlook and a plan to be more
transparent on how it reports mining costs.
    Investor sentiment was cautious at the start of the U.S.
earnings season with U.S. stocks retreating from last week's
rally to five-year highs. Investors anticipate lukewarm
quarterly results and analyst estimates are down sharply from
October. 
    "It's cautious in part because the comparables versus a year
ago will be difficult. More importantly investors are looking
for insight on the outlook for the next three months or 12
months," said Robert McWhirter, president and portfolio manager
at Selective Asset Management.
    Shares of Goldcorp, Canada's second largest gold miner, 
rose 3.23 percent, to C$35.81, making it the index's most
influential positive stock. The overall materials sector, home
to miners, gained 0.24 percent.
    Barrick Gold Corp shares, however, were down 1.28
percent at C$33.14 after the world's top gold miner said it had
ended talks to sell a stake in its African Barrick Gold 
subsidiary to a Chinese buyer. 
    "There is a disappointment with that as it could have freed
up some capital for them," McWhirter said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 5.26 points, or 0.04 percent, at 12,504.81.
Six of the index's 10 main sectors edged higher.
    Investors were approaching earnings season with a mixture of
hope and caution, said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC
Funds.
    "People are hoping that 2013 will be a better year than it
was in 2012, particularly in Canada. But there's still a lot of
confusion, a lot of cash on the sidelines," he said.
    The heavily weighted financials group advanced 0.12 percent,
led by Manulife Financial Corp, which saw Barclays
raise its price target. The large insurer rose 2.57 percent to
C$14.39.
    Energy stocks retreated 0.4 percent and the mining subgroup
fell 1.17 percent. 
    Oil and gas companies tracked softer U.S. crude prices, with
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd falling 1.48 percent to
C$29.34, the biggest drag on the index. Encana Corp was
off 1.86 percent to C$19.55. 
    Diversified mining firm Teck Resources Ltd fell
2.56 percent to C$36.20.
    Talisman Energy Inc said it may seek partners for
its Canadian shale-gas holdings. The company's shares rose 1.20
percent to C$11.76.
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