CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as energy strength offsets sluggish U.S. data

Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:00am EDT

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* TSX down 1.18 points, or 0.01 percent, at 14,890.95
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Mining shares follow prices of gold, silver higher

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday as broad market weakness following
sluggish U.S. economic data was offset by a gain in the energy
sector after oil prices jumped.
    Increasing violence in Iraq heightened worries of a broader
conflict, but those same concerns helped boost oil prices to a
three-month high. 
    U.S. retail sales growth missed expectations in May and
first-time applications for unemployment benefits rose last
week, data showed. 
    "Economic statistics in the United States aren't exactly
fantastic. They are mildly disappointing," said Matt Skipp,
president of SW8 Asset Management.
    But an environment of lower interest rates and increasing
momentum for the natural resource groups will benefit Canadian
equities, he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 is up more than 9 percent this year and has
outperformed most other major global indexes. 
    The index was down 1.18 points, or 0.01 percent, at
14,890.95. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the
red.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave
back 0.4 percent. Royal Bank of Canada lost 0.6 percent
to C$74.45, and Toronto-Dominion Bank slipped 0.5
percent to C$54.36.
    Shares of energy producers climbed 1.4 percent, with Suncor
Energy Inc jumping 2.1 percent to C$45.13 and Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd adding 2 percent to C$47.16.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks,
reflected higher prices for commodities such as gold and silver.
Goldcorp Inc was up 1.8 percent to C$26.81, and Barrick
Gold Corp advanced 1.5 percent to C$18.13.

 (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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