CANADA STOCKS-TSX eases on U.S. budget fears but golds limit fall

Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:22am EDT

* TSX eases 2.24 points, or 0.02 percent, to 12,839.38
    * Seven of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Bombardier climbs after Lion Air shows interest in jets
    * BlackBerry advances after reports results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Friday as worries about the U.S. budget crisis
weighed on most major sectors but helped lift the bullion price
and gold-mining stocks.
    Days after signing a tentative $4.7 billion deal with its
largest shareholder to take the company private, smartphone
maker BlackBerry Ltd reported a quarterly loss of nearly
$1 billion, confirming its warning of a week earlier. The stock
climbed 0.7 percent. 
    Also offering some support to the market, data showed higher
U.S. household spending in August as incomes benefited from wage
gains. But investors continued to fret over
tenuous debt and budget negotiations in the U.S. Congress, as
they have all week.
    The worries about a possible U.S. government shutdown if the
negotiations don't succeed turned out to be a boon to the price
of bullion, however, as gold is seen as a safe-haven asset in
difficult times, and gold-mining stocks rose. 
    "A great deal of uncertainty is going to pervade the mood
for the rest of the day and through the weekend," said Michael
Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management. 
    "Investors expect a last-minute compromise so that the U.S.
government doesn't shut down." 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 2.24 points, or 0.02 percent, at 12,839.38.
Seven of the 10 major index sectors, including financials,
industrials and telecoms, were lower.
    Sprung said the TSX could be due for a correction before the
end of the year as a sluggish domestic economy and volatile
commodity prices weigh. 
    With gold prices jumping 1.4 percent, shares of gold
producers added more than 2 percent. In the group, Goldcorp Inc
 climbed 1.5 percent to C$26.88, and Barrick Gold Corp
 rose 1.7 percent to C$19.41.
    Indonesia's Lion Air said it is looking to fill "thin"
routes with Bombardier Inc's CS300 jets and that is in
talks with the Montréal-based aircraft maker on making an order.
Bombardier's stock was up 0.4 percent at C$4.85.
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