CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips as weak energy offsets Potash, Magna gain
* TSX down 3.9 points, or 0.03 percent at 11,854.24 * Energy stocks weigh on more weak China data * Potash Corp gains as corn reaches record high * Magna climbs on strong earnings By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday, as a drop in energy shares prompted by soft Chinese economic data was offset by gains in auto parts maker Magna International Inc and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan. But the index was still on track for its biggest weekly gain since late May after prices rallied on hopes of more stimulus from major central banks. Energy stocks were by far the biggest drag on the index on Friday, dropping 0.8 percent, as oil prices fell on data showing China's total exports grew less than forecast and its crude oil imports fell in July. Weaker global oil demand forecasts from the International Energy Agency also weighed. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, down 1.75 percent to C$30.84, and Suncor Energy Inc, down 0.94 percent to C$31.57, played the biggest role of any two stocks in weighing on the market. "The overnight news coming out of China, the disappointing export numbers, that has an impact, the Canadian employment numbers also has an impact," said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities in Montreal. "But with all that you'd think the impact would be bigger." Canada's economy unexpectedly lost 30,400 jobs in July in a third disappointing month for the labor market, indicating tepid growth that will likely keep the central bank on the sidelines for longer. By 2:15 p.m. (1815 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 3.9 points, or 0.03 percent, at 11,854.24. It has recorded a gain of 1.6 percent so far this week. Stocks that helped keep the index buoyant included fertilizer company Potash Corp. It jumped 1.2 percent to C$43.22 as corn futures set an all-time high after the U.S. government slashed the size of the crop in the world's top grain exporter. Auto parts manufacturer Magna International rose 4.6 percent to C$43.73 after reporting a sharp jump in profit and saying it would buy a controlling stake in an electric car business. Canadian stocks had followed other global stocks higher earlier in the week as investors hoped for more central bank action in Europe, while some investors also bet on further monetary easing in China, the world's second largest economy. But a big undershoot in China's July exports soured the mood for the resource-heavy Toronto index on Friday, as concern about slower commodity demand offset hopes for stimulus measures. "Equity markets are perhaps putting too much weight, too much emphasis on salvation by the central banks," Leitao said.
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