CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as Couche-Tard offsets dip in golds

Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:18am EDT

* TSX up 9.49 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,714.22
    * Six of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Gold-mining shares slip with bullion prices
    * Couche-Tard jumps 5 percent after results
    * Bombardier climbs after CSeries gets flight test permit

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Friday as weakness in gold-mining shares,
which fell with the price of bullion, was offset by a jump in
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc after the retailer
reported strong quarterly results.
    Couche-Tard's profit more than doubled in its first quarter,
helped by stronger merchandise sales at its convenience stores
in Canada, the United States and Europe. 
    The market got little direction from figures that showed
U.S. consumer spending barely rose in July and inflation was
tame. In Canada, data indicated the economy shifted into lower
gear in the second quarter and contracted in June for the first
time in six months.  
    The next move by Western powers in their confrontation with
Syria also left investors guessing after the British Parliament
voted against military action but France said it still backed
action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.
 
     "People are still trying to figure out if there's going to
be military action in Syria," said Robert McWhirter, president
and portfolio manager at Selective Asset Management.
    "We're also going into a seasonally rough-water period for
the markets, and everyone is cautious about that," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 9.49 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,714.22. 
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Consumer staples stocks showed the sharpest gain, climbing
almost 1 percent. Couche-Tard shares rose 5 percent to C$60.19.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.5 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 1.1 percent to
C$90.93, and Manulife Financial Corp was up 1.1 percent
to C$17.35.
    Gold producers had a volatile session, slipping 1 percent.
Barrick Gold Corp gave back 2 percent to C$20.27, and
Goldcorp Inc lost 0.6 percent to C$31.33.
    In company news, Bombardier Inc said its CSeries
aircraft received a flight test permit from Transport Canada,
paving the way for a delayed maiden flight of the narrow-body
jet. The stock climbed 1.3 percent to C$4.79.
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