CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed as Cameco jumps, RBC slips

Reuters

* TSX down 0.40 of a point at 14,188.58 * Five of 10 main index sectors decline * Cameco, Paladin Energy jump after Japanese policy shift * RBC drops after quarterly report By John Tilak TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended little changed on Wednesday, with gains in Cameco Corp following a favorable shift in Japanese nuclear policy offset by weakness in Royal Bank of Canada after the lender reported quarterly results.

Investors also digested data showing that sales of new U.S. single-family homes hit a 5-1/2-year high in January.

RBC posted a 2 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating market estimates, and raised its dividend by 6 percent. Even so, its stock, which has climbed for much of February, firmed only briefly before closing down 0.8 percent at C$72.09.

The results from the country's biggest lender followed quarterly reports from Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada earlier this week.

The Toronto market is up about 4.2 percent so far this year, having outperformed U.S. stocks, but investors appeared to be searching for drivers that could fuel further gains.

"The market is taking a breather. There's perhaps a little more cautious approach," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

"I think we're in for a winning year, but I don't think it's going to be spectacular," he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 0.40 of a point at 14,188.58. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, slipped 0.3 percent.

Shares of energy companies gave back 0.3 percent. Suncor Energy Inc slipped 0.3 percent to C$36.79, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 0.2 percent to C$40.76.

But Cameco jumped 5 percent to C$26.69 as the world's third-largest uranium producer is expected to benefit from Japan's plans to re-start reactors.

Shares of Paladin Energy, another uranium miner, shot up 13.4 percent to 55 Canadian cents.

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