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Sep 15, 2017

TSX flat as investors take profits in key sectors

BNN's closing bell update: September 15, 2017

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Canada's benchmark stock index notched a weekly gain of more than 1 per cent but ended nearly flat on Friday as falling metal prices and some profit-taking in other sectors largely offset gains in groups led by consumer companies.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index eeked out 0.31 points to finish at 15,173.03.

Six of the index's 10 main groups gained ground.

The Stars Group (TSGI.TO), formerly known as gaming company Amaya, saw its shares jump 9.8 per cent to $23.4 after it raised its 2017 outlook and announced an additional debt prepayment.

Auto-parts maker Magna International Inc (MG.TO) was another influential gainer, rising 1.9 per cent to $63.23. The broader consumer discretionary group rallied 0.8 per cent.

Consumer staples, which includes grocers, added 0.5 per cent. Health care stocks advanced 0.6 per cent, while telecoms rose 0.5 per cent.

Balancing out the gains was a 0.4 per cent slide in materials, which includes mining and other resources stocks, and a 0.5 per cent retreat in oil and gas company shares.

The two groups combined make up roughly a third of the index's weight.

"There's some profit-taking in the short term, with a rotation toward consumer [stocks]," said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director of institutional equity research at CIBC World Markets. He said investors have shown a preference toward commodities with oil and copper prices rising recently.

Metal prices were in retreat, with gold falling on central bank prospects and copper prices, which had rallied to three-year highs, stumbled in its biggest weekly fall since March.

Teck Resources (TECKb.TO) fell 2.3 per cent to $25.69, while Franco Nevada Corp (FNV.TO) was down 1.1 per cent to $98.72. The two miners were among the more influential drags on the index.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 146 to 94, for a 1.55-to-1 ratio on the downside.