CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as energy share gains offset by miners

Fri May 23, 2014 10:56am EDT

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* TSX down 13.18 points, or 0.09 percent, at 14,689.11
    * Six of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Canadian Natural climbs 0.6 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Friday with higher oil prices helping to push
up shares of energy producers, while the mining-heavy materials
sector declined.
    Worries about instability in Ukraine boosted the price of
oil as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wanted better
ties with the West but fiercely criticized U.S. policy in the
region. 
    Investors also digested data that showed Canada's annual
inflation rate rose to the central bank's 2 percent target in
April for the first time in two years. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index is up about 8
percent this year, benefiting from a rebound in its natural
resource sectors, but some investors wonder if the rise may be
set to be interrupted.
    "The market has done pretty well year-to-date, and I think
we may be seeing a pause here, possibly even a correction
sometime," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung Investment
Management.
    Canadian stock prices have outpaced fundamentals, he added.
"Canada is running substantially ahead, yet the U.S. economy is
beginning to look like it's on a more solid footing."
    Sprung said that the energy sector, which has recorded
strong gains this year, still offers good value. His holdings
include Suncor Energy Inc and Encana Corp.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 13.18 points, or 0.09 percent, at 14,689.11
on Friday. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the
red.
    Shares of energy producers added 0.2 percent. Among them,
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd climbed 0.6 percent to
C$44.62, and Suncor Energy Inc rose 0.1 percent to
C$42.50.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, edged
higher. In the group, Toronto-Dominion Bank was up 0.3
percent at C$53.40.
    The materials sector slipped 0.6 percent. Goldcorp Inc
 shed 1.6 percent to C$26.46, and Potash Corp 
gave back 0.8 percent to C$39.24.
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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