CANADA STOCKS-TSX pauses after 7-week selloff
* TSX up 8 points to 12,048.41 * Materials drag as financials, energy rise By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, April 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index paused on Monday after notching its seventh straight weekly loss in the last session, as worries over Europe's debt crisis and slowing growth in China offset some better-than-expected U.S. economic data. Financials and telecoms were among the heaviest gainers, up 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. Toronto-Dominion Bank rose half a percent to C$82.36, Royal Bank of Canada climbed 0.4 percent to C$56.11 and BCE Inc added 0.7 percent to C$39.87. "Those are two areas of course where people, while they don't know what to do in the market, look at these as buy-and-hold things simply for the dividend payments because they're very attractive in today's interest rate environment," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at Scotia McLeod. "I think what we're seeing here is a little bit of confidence coming back into the market." At 10:40 a.m. (1440 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 8.02 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,048.41, after briefly turning negative. Six of the 10 sectors were positive, including energy, up 0.4 percent. U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in March as Americans shrugged off high gasoline prices, indicating economic growth in the first quarter did not soften as much as feared. A recent spate of soft economic data, highlighted by the recent March U.S. payrolls report, increased worry the recovery in the economy had begun to slow. Meanwhile, market sentiment in the euro zone was still on edge as Spain's 10-year government bond yields rose above 6 percent for the first time this year and the cost of insuring its debt hit a record high. "Greece was the first drag, Spain is the second drag, and the question is after they get finished with Spain, who comes next, it might be Italy for goodness' sake," added Ketchen. Worries about Europe crimped oil and precious metal prices, while caution about the outlook for demand from top consumer China also kept gains in check for copper. Among the most influential decliners on the index, First Quantum Minerals sank 5.2 percent to C$20.48, Silver Wheaton was down 4.4 percent to C$29.75 and Barrick Gold lost 0.5 percent to C$41.27.
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