CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as gold miners slip, banks gain
* TSX eases 4.10 points, or 0.03 percent, to 13,986.19 * Six of the 10 main index sectors decline * Barrick, Goldcorp slip on bullion price weakness By John Tilak TORONTO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Tuesday as a stronger U.S. dollar and speculation about what U.S. Federal Reserve will do with its stimulus program weighed on bullion prices and gold-mining shares, while the financial sector rose. Chatter about the fate of U.S. central bank's bond-buying program resurfaced after a report that the Fed might again cut stimulus next week. Investors were, however, encouraged by a move by China's central bank to inject cash into the banking system to try to ease a credit squeeze and calm markets. Meanwhile, the market was also turning is attention to the U.S. and Canadian earnings seasons. "People are going to zero in on earnings," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "We've had multiple expansions, but now we have to see the earnings come through." Disappointing earnings could result in a temporary market correction, he added. "The market needs a bit of a healthy pullback before it moves up again." The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index, which is up about 2.7 percent this year, hit its highest in 2-1/2 years earlier in the session before falling back. At midmorning, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 4.10 points, or 0.03 percent, at 13,986.19. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. Gold-mining shares gave back about 1 percent, reflecting a similar drop in the bullion price. The U.S. dollar strengthened, also dragging on the group. Barrick Gold Corp slipped 2.3 percent to C$21.06 and had the biggest negative influence on the index. Goldcorp Inc fell 0.5 percent to C$25.71. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.4 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia climbing 0.8 percent to C$65.38 and Toronto-Dominion Bank rising 0.5 percent to C$99.21.
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