CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as gold miners offset weakness in energy producers

Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:18pm EDT

* TSX up 12.59 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,274.23

* Six of 10 main index sectors advance

* Aecon, Ithaca Energy slip after results

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Tuesday, as advances in gold miners and financial companies helped offset a decline in energy producers.

Shares of gold producers benefited as the price of bullion rose after a report showed economic sentiment among analysts and investors in Germany hit a low point on worries over the impact of the Ukraine crisis.

A Russian convoy carrying food, water and other assistance headed for eastern Ukraine, where government forces were closing in on pro-Russian rebels. Kiev said it would not allow the vehicles to cross into its territory.

Other geopolitical crises in Iraq and the Gaza Strip added to investor jitters.

Trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange has been choppy over the past two weeks because of the geopolitical concerns, but its benchmark S&P/TSX composite index is up more than 12 percent this year.

"We believe that the market will see a correction this summer," said Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates.

"To me, valuations are high as they are assuming stronger-than-historical earnings growth. I think that they need to come down," he added.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 12.59 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,274.23 on Tuesday. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Among gold mining shares, Goldcorp Inc climbed 2.1 percent to C$31.50 and Barrick Gold Corp jumped 2.4 percent to C$20.94.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, advanced 0.2 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia gaining 0.2 percent to C$72.22.

A drop in oil prices weighed on shares of energy producers. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 0.7 percent to C$45.74.

Ithaca Energy Inc was down 0.4 percent to C$2.52 after the company reported a first-half pre-tax loss.

Aecon Group Inc dropped 2.2 percent to C$16.24 after the construction company reported lower quarterly revenue late on Monday.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals tumbled about 22 percent to $20.25. Some analysts said investors were taking profits after news of a U.S. regulatory approval for its experimental Ebola drug helped lift the stock in recent days. It had gained about 75 percent in the previous three sessions. (With reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Paul Simao)

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