* TSX eases 4.10 points, or 0.03 percent, to 13,986.19
* Six of the 10 main index sectors decline
* Barrick, Goldcorp slip on bullion price weakness
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Jan 21 Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Tuesday as a stronger U.S. dollar and
speculation about what U.S. Federal Reserve will do with its
stimulus program weighed on bullion prices and gold-mining
shares, while the financial sector rose.
Chatter about the fate of U.S. central bank's bond-buying
program resurfaced after a report that the Fed might again cut
stimulus next week.
Investors were, however, encouraged by a move by China's
central bank to inject cash into the banking system to try to
ease a credit squeeze and calm markets.
Meanwhile, the market was also turning is attention to the
U.S. and Canadian earnings seasons.
"People are going to zero in on earnings," said Irwin
Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "We've had multiple
expansions, but now we have to see the earnings come through."
Disappointing earnings could result in a temporary market
correction, he added. "The market needs a bit of a healthy
pullback before it moves up again."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index, which is up
about 2.7 percent this year, hit its highest in 2-1/2 years
earlier in the session before falling back. At midmorning, the
S&P/TSX composite index was down 4.10 points, or 0.03
percent, at 13,986.19.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Gold-mining shares gave back about 1 percent, reflecting a
similar drop in the bullion price. The U.S. dollar strengthened,
also dragging on the group.
Barrick Gold Corp slipped 2.3 percent to C$21.06
and had the biggest negative influence on the index. Goldcorp
Inc fell 0.5 percent to C$25.71.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.4 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia climbing 0.8
percent to C$65.38 and Toronto-Dominion Bank rising 0.5
percent to C$99.21.