(Adds details on data, specific stocks; updates prices)
* TSX up 15.49 points, or 0.1 percent, at 15,321.38
* Half of the TSX's 10 main groups move higher
TORONTO, Dec 22 Canada's main stock index was
barely higher in early trade on Thursday as resource stocks
broadly gained and financial and consumer names pulled back.
At 10:14 a.m ET (1514 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 15.49 points, or 0.1
percent, at 15,321.38.
Advancers barely outnumbered decliners overall, and half of
the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory.
Insurers were among the heaviest weights, with Manulife
Financial Corp down 0.6 percent to C$24.46 and Sun Life
Financial Inc off 0.4 percent to C$52.16.
Canada's annual inflation rate cooled in November,
suggesting the Bank of Canada will maintain its cautious stance
and keeping alive the possibility of another rate cut as new
measures of underlying inflation also fell short of the central
Meanwhile, separate data from Statistics Canada showed
October retail sales rose more than expected, boding well for
economic growth at the start of the fourth quarter.
The financials group slipped 0.2 percent overall, while the
consumer groups were also lower. Staples fell 0.6 percent and
discretionary lost 0.3 percent.
The most influential gainers on the index included Suncor
Energy Inc, up 1 percent to C$44.42, and pipeline
company Enbridge Inc, which advanced 1 percent to
The energy group climbed 0.5 percent overall, as oil prices
edged up with strong U.S. data, a pause in the U.S. dollar
rally, and optimism that crude producers would abide by an
agreement to limit output to prop up prices.
Canada's telecom regulator ruled late on Wednesday that
broadband internet access will be considered a basic service,
setting up a fund that providers will pay into to improve access
to high-speed services in rural and isolated areas of the
Telecoms climbed 0.5 percent, with Rogers Communications Inc
up 0.6 percent to C$51.80 and Quebecor Inc
adding 0.4 percent to C$37.53.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.4 percent. Barrick Gold
Corp gained 1.4 percent to C$19.25. Gold futures
rose 0.2 percent to $1,132.8 an ounce.
BlackBerry Ltd declined 1 percent to C$9.68,
extending losses since it reported quarterly earnings on
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)