* TSX down 0.40 of a point at 14,188.58
* Five of 10 main index sectors decline
* Cameco, Paladin Energy jump after Japanese policy shift
* RBC drops after quarterly report
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 26 Canada's main stock index ended
little changed on Wednesday, with gains in Cameco Corp
following a favorable shift in Japanese nuclear policy offset by
weakness in Royal Bank of Canada after the lender
reported quarterly results.
Investors also digested data showing that sales of new U.S.
single-family homes hit a 5-1/2-year high in January.
RBC posted a 2 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating
market estimates, and raised its dividend by 6 percent. Even so,
its stock, which has climbed for much of February, firmed only
briefly before closing down 0.8 percent at C$72.09.
The results from the country's biggest lender followed
quarterly reports from Bank of Montreal and National
Bank of Canada earlier this week.
The Toronto market is up about 4.2 percent so far this year,
having outperformed U.S. stocks, but investors appeared to be
searching for drivers that could fuel further gains.
"The market is taking a breather. There's perhaps a little
more cautious approach," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity
trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
"I think we're in for a winning year, but I don't think it's
going to be spectacular," he said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed down 0.40 of a point at 14,188.58. Five of the
10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
slipped 0.3 percent.
Shares of energy companies gave back 0.3 percent. Suncor
Energy Inc slipped 0.3 percent to C$36.79, and Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd lost 0.2 percent to C$40.76.
But Cameco jumped 5 percent to C$26.69 as the world's
third-largest uranium producer is expected to benefit from
Japan's plans to re-start reactors.
Shares of Paladin Energy, another uranium miner,
shot up 13.4 percent to 55 Canadian cents.