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article imageTSX little changed as Cameco jumps, RBC slips

    Feb 25, 2014 in Business

By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped on Tuesday after a selloff in the oil price caused shares of energy producers to decline, offsetting gains in Bank of Montreal <BMO.TO> and BlackBerry <BB.TO>.

BMO's quarterly profit rose 2 percent, topping estimates, as strength in its Canadian branch-banking business and lower loan loss provisions offset a weak performance at its U.S. operation.

BlackBerry shares jumped nearly 8 percent after the smartphone maker unveiled a cheaper touch screen smartphone and a "classic" model with a keyboard.

Despite Tuesday's decline, the Toronto market is up about 4.3 percent this year on the back of a recent string of gains.

"The market needs a little rest. We've had a record run," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.

"A little backing and filling is probably justified," he added. "But I don't think we're into a major selloff here."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index <.GSPTSE> was down 23.92 points, or 0.17 percent, at 14,203.16. The Canadian benchmark index has done better than the S&P 500 <.SPX>, its U.S. counterpart, so far in 2014.

Cockfield expects the TSX to rise about 9-10 percent this year: "I still think we will continue to outperform the U.S. market as the year progresses, simply because our P/E multiples are lower."

Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red on Tuesday.

Energy shares declined 0.8 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd <CNQ.TO> shed 1.3 percent to C$40.51, and Encana Corp <ECA.TO> fell 1.9 percent to C$21.07.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, slipped 0.4 percent, with Teck Resources Ltd <TCKb.TO> losing 2 percent to C$24.49.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, climbed 0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada <RY.TO> added 0.5 percent to C$72.82, and BMO advanced 0.8 percent to C$73.15.

National Bank of Canada <NA.TO> also gained, to C$43.91, after the country's sixth-largest lender reported late on Monday a 9 percent rise in first-quarter profit, driven by stronger wealth management and financial markets income.

(Editing by W Simon)

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