CANADA STOCKS-TSX pauses after 7-week slide
* TSX ends down 2.80 points at 12,037.59 * Stronger financials offset weak commodities By Claire Sibonney TORONTO, April 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index paused o n M onday after posting its seventh straight weekly loss in the last session, as concerns 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 biggest gainers, up 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent respectively. All of the five big banks were higher, led by Toronto-Dominion Bank, up 0.9 percent to C$82.70 and Bank of Nova Scotia, up 1 percent to C$54.63. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended down 2.80 points, or 0.02 percent, at 12,037.59 Five of the 10 sectors were in negative territory, including materials, off 1.4 percent. On the upside, Americans shrugged off high gasoline prices in March and spent more strongly than expected, suggesting economic growth in the first quarter was probably not as weak as many had feared. A recent string of soft economic data, highlighted by the recent March U.S. payrolls report, increased worry the economic recovery had begun to slow. Market sentiment in the euro zone was still on edge as Spanish 10-year government bond yields broke through the 6 percent mark for the first time since December, sparking a record-breaking rally in low-risk German debt. Sid Mokhtari, market technician at CIBC, said investors are also still waiting for more U.S. earnings for further direction. "They want to see what kind of guidance we get," said Mokhtari. "People are starting to bet that the repeat of the selloff of 2010 and the repeat of another selloff in 2011 is probably going to occur in this environment... I have a difficult time wanting to swallow the whole assumption." Earnings season will pick up steam this week, with 86 S&P 500 companies scheduled to report results. According to Thomson Reuters data through Monday, of the 34 S&P 500 companies to have reported results so far, 76 percent have reported earnings above analyst expectations.
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