CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as U.S. action in Iraq weighs

Fri Aug 8, 2014 11:27am EDT

* TSX up 4.75 points, or 0.03 percent, at 15,123.18
    * Six of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Avigilon tumbles after quarterly report
    * Tekmira surges on regulatory clearance for drug

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed in choppy trading on Friday as a U.S. decision to
conduct air strikes in Iraq gave the commodities sector a boost
but weighed on the broader market.
    U.S. warplanes struck Iraq for the first time since American
troops pulled out in 2011, attacking Islamist fighters advancing
toward the Kurdish region. 
    Investors also weighed the significance of data showing that
China's exports lifted its trade surplus to a record in July.
 
    The benchmark TSX has been hit over the past week by 
concerns about Ukraine, Israel and Iraq. It is down about 2.7
percent since touching a record high last week.
    "These problems haven't gotten away and if anything they
seem to be worsening," said Colin Cieszynski, senior market
analyst at CMC Markets Canada, who expects a high level of
volatility in the next three months.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 4.75 points, or 0.03 percent, at 15,123.18. Six
of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, fell
0.7 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia shed 1 percent to
C$71.48, and Toronto Dominion Bank lost 0.9 percent to
C$55.45.
    Shares of energy producers were up 0.4 percent, with
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rising 0.7 percent to
C$45.12 and Talisman Energy Inc jumping 1.9 percent to
C$11.57.
    The gold-mining sector climbed with the bullion price, which
was higher in choppy trade. Barrick Gold Corp gained
2.5 percent to C$20.68, and Goldcorp Inc advanced 0.8
percent to C$31.13.
    In corporate news, shares of Avigilon Corp tumbled
14 percent to C$21.40 after the maker of video surveillance
cameras reported quarterly results late on Thursday.
    Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp jumped 19 percent, to
C$18.50, after U.S. regulators partially lifted a hold on the
company's experimental Ebola drug to enable its potential use on
humans infected with the virus. 

 (Editing by Tom Brown)