CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed as investors eye Fed comment

Reuters

* TSX up 7.16 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,484.33 * Five of 10 main index sectors advance * Energy shares climb with oil price By John Tilak TORONTO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday, with weakness in the materials sector offset by gains in industrials, as investors braced themselves for monetary policy commentary from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

As minutes from a recent Fed policy meeting are released this afternoon, the market will be looking for clues about when interest rates could go higher. Later this week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will address policymakers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The U.S. central bank is not likely to announce any major policy changes, said Steven Palmer, president and chief investment officer at AlphaNorth Asset Management. "The expectation is that the Fed will start moving rates up sometime in 2015." He is positive about the outlook for Canadian equities: "Ongoing strength in the resource sectors could accelerate into year-end." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 7.16 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,484.33. It has gained nearly 14 percent this year and is one of the strongest performers among its global peers.

Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Wednesday.

The industrial sector advanced, with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd rising 0.8 percent to C$218.06 and Canadian National Railway Co adding 0.8 percent to C$75.59.

Shares of energy producers climbed with the oil price. Suncor Energy Inc gained 0.6 percent to C$43.53.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, declined slightly. Barrick Gold Corp gave back 0.6 percent to C$20.47 and Goldcorp Inc lost 0.5 percent to C$30.92.

(Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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