CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as resource-share dip offsets U.S. jobs data

Reuters

* TSX down 2.68 points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,207.11 * Six of the 10 main index sectors decline * Gold miners slip with the price of bullion By John Tilak TORONTO, July 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Thursday as optimism spurred by a bullish U.S. jobs report was balanced by declines in natural resource shares on lower commodity prices.

Government figures showed a jump in U.S. employment growth in June and a drop in the unemployment rate, suggesting the world's biggest economy was on its way to overcoming a winter slowdown.

"The U.S. employment situation is very strong. It's very encouraging," said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager at MY Capital Management Corp in Vancouver. "It's a lively economic environment in the United States at the moment." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 2.68 points, or 0.02 percent, at 15,207.11. It rose as high as 15,256.36, a record, earlier in the session.

The TSX is likely to have a strong second half, Xu said. "Commodities are making a bit of a comeback." Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on Thursday.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, climbed 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada added 0.1 percent to C$77.11, and Bank of Nova Scotia gained 0.5 percent to C$71.66.

The energy sector was down 0.2 percent on lower oil prices, with Suncor Energy Inc falling 0.9 percent to C$45.53 and Encana Corp shedding 1.1 percent to C$24.58.

Gold-mining shares gave back 1.4 percent, reflecting weakness in the price of bullion. Goldcorp Inc slipped 1.9 percent to C$29.19, and Barrick Gold Corp lost 1.2 percent to C$19.33.

($1=$1.06 Canadian) (Editing by Dan Grebler; and Peter Galloway)

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