CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady after selloff, energy shares climb

Tue Feb 4, 2014 10:54am EST

* TSX falls 7.50 points, or 0.06 percent, to 13,470.70
    * Five of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * WestJet climbs after quarterly report

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Tuesday after a major selloff the previous
session as higher U.S. crude oil prices lifted shares of energy
producers, while a drop in the bullion price weighed on gold
miners.
    Sluggish economic data from the United States and China had
darkened the market's mood on Monday, when the Toronto Stock
Exchange's benchmark index fell more than 200 points and hit a
one-month low.
    Global markets have been jittery of late with sentiment hit
by concerns about some emerging-market currencies and economies
and by the U.S. Federal Reserve's scaling back of its stimulus
program.
    Volatility in the Argentine peso and the Turkish lira and
signs of a slowdown in China have made investors wary of riskier
assets.
    "It's been a risk-off trade in the last week or so because
of the herd instinct," said Anil Tahiliani, portfolio manager,
North American equities, at McLean & Partners Wealth Management.
    "The higher beta stocks have been getting hit the most, so
we're using this as an opportunity to buy some of these
high-quality companies that have been oversold."
    Tahiliani said that the Canadian energy sector in particular
was starting to look attractive.
    The Toronto stock market's S&P/TSX composite index 
was down 7.50 points, or 0.06 percent, at 13,470.70. Five of the
10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    Energy shares rose 0.6 percent, with U.S. crude oil < CLc1>
gaining 0.9 percent. In the group, Canadian Natural Resources
Ltd climbed 1 percent to C$36.51, and Encana Corp
jumped 2.8 percent to C$20.15.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was hurt
by declines in gold-mining shares. Barrick Gold Corp 
fell 1.2 percent to C$21.16, and Goldcorp Inc shed 1.2
percent to C$27.14.
    In corporate news, WestJet Airlines Ltd reported an
11 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit and raised its
dividend. The stock was up 1.4 percent at C$25.20.
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