CANADA STOCKS-TSX stalls as energy weighs, Potash supports

Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:55am EDT
 
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* TSX down 3.92 points, or 0.03 percent, at 11,854.21
    * Energy stocks weighs on more weak China data
    * Potash Corp gains after U.S. slashes corn crop

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
see-sawed o n F riday as more weak China data hurt some energy
stocks, but fertilizer maker Potash Corp gained after the United
States slashed the size of its corn crop.
    Adding to unease, Canada said its labor market unexpectedly
shed jobs in July.
    A big undershoot in China's July exports soured the mood for
the resource-heavy Toronto index, as concern about slower
commodity demand offset hopes for stimulus measures.
 
    Weakness in the market is "primarily on the back of the
Chinese data and at the same time confirmation that we're
getting from international companies in the U.S. suggesting that
global slowdown is certainly a concern for all of them," said
Sid Mokhtari, director of institutional equity research at CIBC
World Markets.
    While a majority of the 10 main sectors on the index were
positive, the overall market was pulled negative by influential
energy stocks including Canadian Natural Resources and
Crescent Point.
    Fertilizer company Potash Corp bucked that trend,
jumping  1 percent to C$ 43.16 after the US government slashed
the size of its corn crop in the world's top grains exporter.
    Auto parts manufacturer Magna International also
gained, adding 4.6 percent to C$43.73 after reporting a sharp
jump in profit. 
    Magna's strength in North America and Europe prompted
Canaccord Genuity analyst David Tyerman to increase his stock
target to $56 US from $53 US.
    By 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was down 3.92 points, or 0.03
percent, at 11,854.21. It had broken into positive territory
earlier in the session.
    Domestically, Canada's economy unexpectedly lost 30,400 jobs
in July in a third disappointing month for the labor market,
suggesting the country's relatively hawkish central bank will
stay on the sidelines for longer as growth fails to gain
momentum. 
    Research In Motion Ltd rose 5.2 percent after a
Bloomberg report that International Business Machines Corp had
expressed an interest in its enterprise-services business.