CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as Ukraine tensions ease, gold miners drop

Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:21pm EDT

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* TSX up 4.23 points, or 0.03 percent, at 14,231.89
    * Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Bombardier jumps after contract win

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Monday as a peaceful conclusion of the
referendum in Crimea drove gains in some sectors, but the
perceived easing of tension in the region weighed on the bullion
price and sent gold-mining shares lower.
    The United States and European Union imposed sanctions,
including asset freezes and travel bans, on officials from
Russia and Ukraine after Crimea applied to join Russia following
the referendum on seceding from Ukraine. 
    Investors were also encouraged by data that showed the
largest gain in U.S. manufacturing output in six months in
February and an expansion in factory activity in New York state
in March. 
    Also providing support was a 4.9 percent jump in shares of
Bombardier after South Africa's Transnet awarded the
plane and train maker part of a contract to supply more than
1,000 trains as part of a $28 billion expansion plan. The
contract was shared with General Electric and two Chinese
firms. ID:nL6N0ME1OZ]
    But a selloff in the gold-mining group robbed the Toronto
stock market's benchmark index of any substantial gain. The
index is up about 4.5 percent this year. 
    "Everybody would like to see the market higher, of course,
but overall investors have a sense of comfort with where the
market is," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at
ScotiaMcLeod. "There still seems to be a fair amount of
confidence in the stock market and the economy."  
    Ketchen said he expects the index to end the year at around
the 15,000 mark.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 4.23 points, or 0.03 percent, at 14,231.89
on Monday. Eight of its 10 main sectors were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank climbing 0.5
percent to C$51.46.
    The surge in Bombardier and some railway gains helped lift
the industrials group, which was up 0.9 percent. Canadian
National Railway Co rose 1.1 percent to C$62.63.
    Gold miners gave up some of their recent gains, dropping 3.3
percent. Goldcorp Inc lost 3 percent to C$30.89, and
Barrick Gold Corp fell 2.5 percent to C$22.62. 
    In other corporate news, Imperial Oil Ltd said
Whitecap Resources Inc has agreed to buy some of
Imperial's oil and gas properties in Western Canada for about
C$855 million ($771.14 million). Whitecap's stock jumped 7
percent to C$12.34, while Imperial shares were up 0.2 percent.
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