TSX posts weekly decline amid US stagflation worries

FILE PHOTO: The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

(Corrects first paragraph to show materials not financial shares rose)

By Fergal Smith

(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended higher on Friday as industrial and materials shares rose, but the gain was modest as U.S. economic data raised concerns that investors could be facing a combination of slow economic growth and high inflation.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 2.01 points, or 0.01%, at 20,419.62.

For the week, it was down 0.6%, its third straight week of declines, as signs of slowing economic growth in the United States and China weighed on sentiment.

Wall Street stocks edged lower on Friday as data showed that U.S. consumer sentiment fell to a six-month low in May and long-term inflation expectations climbed.

The U.S. data "reminded investors that stagflation risks aren’t going away anytime soon," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

Canada's inflation report for April is due for release on Tuesday.

The Toronto market's technology group fell 1.1%, while heavily weighted financials were down 0.2%.

But some other sectors advanced, including a gain of 0.8% for industrials.

One of the major industrial stocks is Air Canada. Its shares rose 0.5% after the country's largest airline reported results that benefited from resilient travel demand.

"It goes to show that there's a lot of pent-up demand for travel, and consumers still seem to be spending on airlines and travel experiences," said Greg Taylor, chief investment officer at Purpose Investments.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.7%.

(This story has been corrected to show materials shares rose, not financial shares, in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and by Johann M Cherian and Vansh Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Matthew Lewis)