CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as geopolitical fears offset Talisman, WestJet gains

Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:28pm EDT

* TSX up 1.33 points, or 0.01 percent, and 15,446.55
    * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * WestJet jumps 3.9 percent after quarterly report

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, July 29 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended
little changed on Tuesday as concerns about geopolitical
tensions helped offset gains in Talisman Energy Inc and
WestJet Airlines Ltd after the companies reported
quarterly results.
    Investors digested news of a fresh wave of violence in the
Middle East, as well as moves by the European Union and the
United States to implement more sanctions against Russia.
  
    The market also braced for a slew of economic data,
including the monthly U.S. jobs report, on tap for later this
week. Further, the U.S. Federal Reserve will put out a policy
statement on Wednesday. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index, which is up
about 13 percent this year, hit an all-time high earlier in the
session before giving up some of those gains.
    "We look at these record highs as an opportunity to
rebalance, selling some winners and buying some laggards," said
Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner Investment Partners
of Richardson GMP Ltd, which manages about C$28.3 billion in
assets.
    "We're approaching it with more caution than usual," he
added. "Whenever markets become stretched, there's always the
risk of a pullback."
    Zohny said that the energy and materials sectors offer the
best relative value at these levels.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 1.33 points, or 0.01 percent, and 15,446.55.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed 0.2 percent, with Sun Life Financial Inc rising
0.4 percent to C$41.65.
    Shares of energy producers slip with the price of U.S. 
crude oil. Suncor Energy Inc gave back 0.5 percent to  
C$45.12, and Enbridge Inc lost 0.3 percent to C$55.03.
    WestJet posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit as
higher ticket prices and fees helped it offset steeper fuel
costs and a weaker Canadian dollar. The stock jumped 3.9 percent
to C$28.49. 
    Talisman reported a surprise loss, hurt by lower gas prices
in North America and higher royalty payments on production.
Shares of the oil producer, which declined to offer additional
details on its talks with Spain's Repsol SA,
strengthened 1.8 percent to C$11.93. 
 ($1=$1.08 Canadian dollar)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway and Tom Brown)