CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady amid mixed economic signals

Wed Oct 3, 2012 11:02am EDT
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* TSX down 8.25 points at 12,382.98
    * Six of 10 sectors positive; energy weighs

    By Claire Sibonney
    TORONTO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Wednesday, as signs the global economic
slowdown may be worsening was offset by better-than-expected
U.S. data and hopes that Spain will eventually request financial
    Energy shares were the biggest drag, down 0.9 percent. U.S.
crude dropped more than $2, hit by weak data from Europe and
    Canadian Natural Resources was the most influential
decliner, down 2.2 percent to C$30.50. Suncor Energy 
lost 0.7 percent to C$32.71 and Cenovus Energy fell 1.7
percent to C$34.65.
    On the upside, financials - which included the country's
dividend-paying banks - were among the lead gainers, with Royal
Bank of Canada up 0.2 percent to C$56.97.
    "The market is trying to find direction and so far there
isn't any particular direction, so I say buy for income," said
Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at Scotia McLeod.
    "When you want to know what to do and you don't know what to
do, get paid to wait, and dividends are the pay that you get to
    At 10:46 a.m. (1446 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was off 8.25 points, or 0.07
percent, at 12,382.98.
    Six of the 10 sectors were stronger as the index drifted
between positive and negative territory.
    Trading will likely continue be choppy as investors remain
uncertain about when Spain will request a bailout for its public
finances and when the global economic picture will get decidedly
    In the United States, the vast U.S. services sector picked
up in September and the U.S. private sector created more jobs
than expected.  
    Meanwhile, the latest data from surveys of purchasing
managers' activity across the euro zone and China showed the
growth outlook has not improved, despite the best efforts of
central banks to stimulate their economies.