TSX ends flat on US data, Europe uncertainty

Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:23pm EDT
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian stocks swung back and forth before ending flat on Wednesday, as financial and mining gains were offset by energy losses as weak U.S. economic data and Europe's debt crisis weighed on sentiment.

Canada's main stock index outperformed its global counterparts, which fell on Wednesday as investors shunned riskier equities assets in favor of gold and low-yielding government bonds. <MKTS/GLOB>

"We're all over the place," said Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities in Vancouver. "On a very short-term basis there's just no rhyme or reason."

Six of Canada's 10 main sectors finished in the red, led by the heavyweight energy group, which sank 1.1 percent.

Declines were led by large oil and gas producers Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), which slid 1.6 percent to C$27.12, Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO: Quote), down 0.8 percent at C$31.99 and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), which slumped 0.4 percent to C$28.86.

Bonavista Energy Corp (BNP.TO: Quote) tumbled 6.7 percent to C$14.43 and Enerplus Corp ERF.TO fell 3.8 percent to C$13.01 after the oil and gas producer said on Tuesday it will cut its monthly dividend by half as it looks to cope with weak commodity prices.

Paramount Resources Ltd's (POU.TO: Quote) shares dropped 7.7 percent to C$23.77 a day after Standard & Poor's lowered its credit rating on the Canadian natural gas producer because of weak gas prices and the company's hefty capital spending plans. It has fallen more than 12 percent in the last two trading sessions.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 0.57 of a point at 11,497.87. It lurched between a high of 11,580.39 and a low at 11,440.36.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch