CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady after economic data, records monthly gain

Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:33pm EST

* TSX falls 5.15 points, or 0.04 percent, to 14,209.59
    * Six of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Index up about 3.8 percent this month
    * Mega Brands jumps after takeover bid

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Friday as data showing economic growth in
North America helped drive gains in the energy sector, while
gold-mining shares were dragged down by a weaker gold price.
    The TSX, nevertheless, recorded its strongest monthly gain
since October, rising 3.8 percent in February. 
    The Toronto market has outperformed the S&P 500 so
far this year, rising about 4.3 percent, following a selloff in
January triggered by concerns about emerging market growth.
    Government data released on Friday showed that Canadian
economic growth beat market expectations in the fourth quarter
of 2013. In the United States, data indicated the world's
biggest economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the fourth
quarter.  
    "I think the market is going higher here," said Marcus Xu,
portfolio manager at MY Capital Management Corp in Vancouver.
"The bull market is still intact, the trend is still there."
    "This year is going to be very volatile," added Xu, who
expects the benchmark Canadian index to climb about 8 percent in
2014.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 5.15 points, or 0.04 percent, at
14,209.59. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the
red.
    Gold-mining shares dropped 1.1 percent, with Barrick Gold
Corp declining 2 percent to C$22.56. The price of spot
gold fell 0.5 percent on Friday.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were
little changed. Royal Bank of Canada slipped 0.6 percent
to C$71.95, but Toronto Dominion Bank gained 0.8 percent
to C$50.16.
    Shares of energy producers rose 0.8 percent. Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd advanced 0.4 percent to C$40.52,
and Encana Corp added 0.6 percent to C$21.00.
    In corporate news, toymaker Mattel Inc said it
agreed to buy Mega Brands Inc for about $460 million,
including debt. Shares of Mega Brands jumped 35.6 percent to
C$17.72.
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