CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as Ukraine worries offset upbeat U.S. data

Thu Aug 7, 2014 10:52am EDT

* TSX down 15.89 points, or 0.10 percent, at 15,186.20
    * Five of the 10 main index sectors decline
    * Air Canada drops after reporting results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Thursday after upbeat U.S. jobless claims data
was offset by market anxiety over the Ukraine crisis.
    U.S. government figures showed the number of Americans
filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly
last week. 
    In Ukraine, violence was at an elevated level a day after
Russia announced plans to ban imports of food from the United
States and fruits and vegetables from Europe in response to U.S.
and European Union sanctions over Ukraine. 
    Also weighing on the market, shares of Air Canada 
dropped 3.5 percent after the carrier reported quarterly results
that missed expectations. 
    While the benchmark TSX index is still up nearly 12 percent
since the start of the year, it has been in negative territory
in four of the past five sessions. 
    "It's the summer doldrums more than anything else," said
John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. He added that
valuations remain overextended and that the market faces the
risk of a correction.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 15.89 points, or 0.10 percent, at 15,186.20.
Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. 
    The gold-mining sector slipped with the bullion price after
showing strength in the previous session. Goldcorp Inc 
gave back 0.5 percent to C$30.60, and Barrick Gold Corp 
was down 0.2 percent, at C$20.01.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed as they benefited from a gain in Manulife Financial Corp
. 
    The insurer raised its dividend for the first time since the
financial crisis and reported a quarterly profit that jumped on
stronger financial markets. Manulife shares were up 0.5 percent
at C$22.07. 
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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