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CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as Ukraine fears offset Tim Hortons gain

* TSX down 9.65 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,178.06 * Eight of 10 main index sectors decline * Tim Hortons jumps 6 percent after results By John Tilak TORONTO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed in choppy trading on Wednesday as worries that the Ukraine crisis will escalate offset gains in gold producers and in shares of Tim Hortons Inc after the company released quarterly results.

NATO said Russia has amassed about 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's eastern border and could use the pretext of a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission to invade.

Further dampening the market's mood, figures showed Italy slipped back into recession for the third time since 2008 in the second quarter.

The Toronto stock market's benchmark index has been trading in negative territory for the last four sessions.

"These geopolitical events are just excuses to send the market down," said John Stephenson, president of Stephenson & Co Capital Management.

"What is underlying all of this is a concern over how far the markets have come," he added. "Everything else is secondary to that." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 9.65 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,178.06. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, dropped 0.2 percent, with Bank of Nova Scotia falling 0.4 percent to C$73.01, and Bank of Montreal losing 0.3 percent to C$79.87.

Gold miners jumped 1.5 percent, mirroring a similar gain in the price of bullion. Goldcorp Inc advanced 1.3 percent to C$30.75, and Barrick Gold Corp climbed 1.1 percent to C$19.99.

Shares of Tim Hortons jumped 6 percent to C$63.66 after the coffee and snacks chain posted a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit and said full-year earnings may top its forecast.

Canaccord Genuity Group Inc's stock shed 7.8 percent after the company reported quarterly results late on Tuesday.

($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)