CANADA STOCKS-TSX near flat as energy shares fall, gold miners gain

(Adds strategist comment, updates prices to close)

* TSX ends up 2.11 points, or 0.01 percent, at 14,787.40

* Index gained 0.4 percent in October

* Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups move higher, energy
drags

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Oct 31 Canada’s benchmark stock index
ended a touch higher on Monday as gold miners gained, but energy
stocks fell and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc
slumped on a report its former executives are the focus
of a U.S. criminal probe.

The index’s energy sector, which accounts for one-fifth of
the index’s weight, fell 1.9 percent as oil prices settled at
one-month lows on doubts about OPEC’s ability to implement
planned production cuts and expectations that the cartel had
record output in October.

“Part of this is just letting a little bit of that
enthusiastic air out of the balloon,” said Craig Fehr, Canadian
market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri,
referring to optimism about an OPEC deal that had helped push
oil prices above $50 a barrel for much of October.

The index’s most influential weights included Suncor Energy
Inc, which fell 2.5 percent to C$40.25, and Cenovus
Energy Inc, down 3.4 percent to C$19.35.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
settled up 2.11 points, or 0.01 percent, at 14,787.40.
It gained 0.4 percent in October.

Valeant shares fell 12 percent to C$23.94 after Bloomberg
reported that U.S. prosecutors are building a fraud case against
the drugmaker that could yield charges within weeks.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base
metals miners and fertilizer companies, gained 1.7 percent.
Barrick Gold Corp rose 3.1 percent to C$23.60.

Seven of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive
territory, although advancers only barely outnumbered decliners.

The heavyweight financials group gained 0.2 percent, with
Toronto-Dominion Bank up 0.6 percent to C$60.86.

Canadian producer prices rose by 0.4 percent in September
from August, pushed up by higher prices for energy and petroleum
products as well as motorized vehicles, Statistics Canada said.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp, editing by G Crosse)

The article CANADA STOCKS-TSX near flat as energy shares fall, gold miners gain was originally published at Reuters - US Energy.