Canadian stock market stayed little changed on Tuesday after hitting a two-month high earlier in the morning as the latest developments in Italy discouraged buyers.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 26.87 points, or 0.22 percent, at 12,488.95. The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index slightly gained 7.75 points, or 0.47 percent, at 1,669.67.
Toronto's main stock index opened higher on Tuesday, supported by stronger commodity prices, ahead of a crucial Italian parliamentary vote on budget reforms. Following the vote hinted that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had lost the parliamentary majority, the TSX gave up early gains on rising worries about the European debt crisis and ended flat at the end of the day.
After Greece's referendum situation has shocked the global market last week, Italy has now displaced Greece as the focus of the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis, with government bond yields nearing its 12 years'height, which could lead the EU's third largest economy to accept a bailout that Ireland and Portugal has adopted.
Even though Berlusconi has won the budget vote at last, Italy's opposition leader still clings to Berlusconi's resignation. Markets fear that Italy's debt is too large to be handled by an international bailout.
Also pressuring the broader gains, the gold-mining subsector on TSX slipped 0.22 percent after a surge in the previous session. On Monday, the Toronto Stock Exchange's sub-index of gold producers which often climbs on investors'uncertainty, rallied to its strongest level since Sept. 22.
Lifted by the commodity prices including copper and oil, the metals sector on Tuesday moved up 1.49 percent.
The TSX energy sector was little changed as Suncor Energy declined five cents to 33.2 dollars and Imperial Oil was up 16 cents at 42.52 dollars.
The financial sector was ahead with Royal Bank ahead 0.91 cents to 46.25 dollars. Among Canadian stocks to watch on Tuesday, TMX Group, which operates the Toronto Stock Exchange, reported a 21- percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by higher revenue from derivative markets trading.
On the economic front, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported Tuesday that housing starts remained essentially steady in October, falling 0.6 percent to 207,600 annualized units from September's 208,800. Market expectations were for a bigger drop of 6.1 percent to 195,000.
On the currency front, the Canadian dollar strengthened 0.34 cents to 0.9915 U.S. dollars.
One U.S. dollar was buying 1.0095 Canadian dollars at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT) on Tuesday.