CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as weakness in tech, healthcare offset commodity-linked gains

(Updates prices, adds analyst comment)

Oct 22 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Friday, as weakness in technology and healthcare stocks offset commodity-linked gains, however the benchmark index was on course for its third straight week of gains.

At 9:42 a.m. ET (13:42 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 5.76 points, or 0.03%, at 21,206.63, weighed by an over 1% slide in both healthcare and technology stocks.

The healthcare sub-sector index was dragged by an over 2% drop in pot producers Tilray Inc and Canopy Growth Corp.

Meanwhile, Toronto-listed tech stocks fell 1.4%, tracking the tech-heavy Nasdaq index.

Energy stocks gained 0.8%, rebounding from their worst day in over two-weeks in the prior session, as oil prices stayed near multi-year highs.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.7% as gold futures rose 1.4% to $1,805.5 an ounce.

“Commodity prices have bounced back a little bit particularly crude that helped the energy stocks, at the same time we’re seeing weakness in technology in the United States. It is a bit of a mixed market,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist, SIA Wealth Management.

The benchmark index was on course to have its third consecutive weekly gains helped by stronger commodities and as investor focus turned towards corporate earnings.

Meanwhile, official data showed the nation’s retail sales rose 2.1% in August from July at C$57.2 billion ($46.41 billion), as sales at food and beverage stores increased for the first time in three months.


E-commerce firm Shopify Inc fell the most on the TSX, followed by pot producer Tilray Inc.

The TSX posted nine new 52-week highs and no new lows.

Across all Canadian issues there were 38 new 52-week highs and 12 new lows, with total volume of 30.23 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)