CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed; rising BCE offsets energy drop
* Main index down 11.7 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,852.06 * BCE biggest positive influence after strong results * RIM gains on suggestions licensing deal coming * Air Canada tumbles as loss grows * Energy stocks weigh By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed at midday on Wednesday after two sessions of strong gains as a jump in BCE Inc shares due to solid earnings and a dividend boost helped offset declining energy companies. Second-quarter profit for BCE, the parent of Bell Canada and the country's largest telecom company, beat expectations as wireless and media-arm growth spurred the company to lift its full-year earnings outlook and dividend payout. Its shares gained 3.5 percent to C$44.76, the single biggest positive influence on the index. "There is still a huge demand for yield and Bell will hit that category," said Paul Hand, a managing director at RBC Capital Markets. Research In Motion Ltd also gained, rising 5.1 percent to C$7.69 a day after an influential analyst suggested the BlackBerry maker could revive talks to license its new operating system to smartphone leader Samsung Electronics. The gains helped offset the impact of weak data from major European economies Germany and Britain, which contributed to the commodity price declines that hurt resource shares on the index. Among the heaviest weights were Enbridge Inc, down 0.9 percent at C$39.63, Suncor Energy, which dipped 0.5 percent to C$32.06, and TransCanada Corp, which slipped 1.7 percent to C$45.29. Air Canada fell 8.7 percent to C$1.05 after the country's largest airline posted a bigger quarterly loss and said labor disruptions and the closure of its plane maintenance contractor crimped its operations. At 12:05 p.m. (1605 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 11.7 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,852.06. On Tuesday it closed at its highest level since July 4. Shares of Silver Wheaton Corp rose 3.9 percent while HudBay Minerals Inc inched up 0.3 percent on a deal that will see Silver Wheaton help finance the development of HudBay's Constancia mine in Peru in exchange for the right to purchase precious metal byproducts from the base metal miner. Rona Inc, the big Canadian home-improvement chain that has rejected a takeover proposal from U.S. competitor Lowe's Cos Inc, gained 1.1 percent to C$13.90 after both its adjusted earnings and revenue rose.
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