(Adds stock market prices after close, strategist quote,
details on Barrick plans and U.S. job growth data) )
* TSX up 2.98 points, or 0.02 percent, at 14,302.06
* Seven of 10 main index sectors advance
* Royal Bank of Canada little changed after court decision
By John Tilak
TORONTO, March 10 Canada's main stock index
ended little changed on Monday as a gain in financial shares
helped offset weakness in the materials sector after data
showing a sluggish Chinese economy weighed on the prices of some
Data released over the weekend showed an unexpected drop in
Chinese exports in February, renewing concerns about a slowdown
in the world's second-largest economy.
The resource-sensitive Toronto market appeared to shrug off
news of the weakness in China, a major importer of commodities.
The index was up about 5 percent this year.
"Investors seem to be taking the news from China in their
stride," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in
Vancouver. "You've seen commodity prices back off a little, but
overall there's no big, negative reaction on the TSX."
"Investors are hoping that U.S. strength offsets any
lingering weakness in China or anywhere else," he added.
Data released Friday showed that U.S. job growth picked up
in February, topping market expectations.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 2.98 points, or 0.02 percent, at 14,302.06.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank added 1.1 percent to
C$51, and Bank of Nova Scotia gained 0.6 percent to
Royal Bank of Canada was flat after a Delaware judge
ruled that the lender should be held liable to former
shareholders of Rural/Metro Corp because it failed
to disclose conflicts of interest that tainted the $438 million
buyout of the ambulance operator.
Gold-mining shares gave back 0.7 percent, with Goldcorp Inc
slipping 1.1 percent to C$29.64 and Barrick Gold Corp
losing 0.8 percent to C$21.90.
Barrick said it planned to sell about 13.5 percent of its
holdings in its majority-owned subsidiary African Barrick Gold